I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet the words repeat,
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had roll’d along th’ unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bow’d my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

‘Til ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!
 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Written during the Civil War, this carol by Longfellow is perhaps my favorite of all Christmas music. I can relate to the sentiments shared. During this time of wars being waged in both Iraq and Afghanistan, questions about the nuclear capabilities of Iran and North Korea, an 10% unemployment rate in the U.S., and so many other concerns, that feeling of “There is no peace on earth I said” is real.

This year I know more than one family who is without income. I know many children who, without the generosity of strangers, would have no gifts under their Christmas tree. I ache for my friends whose family members are in war zones far across the seas this holiday season. I know of two families who have lost children in tragic accidents during the past week.

Sometimes the sorrow and pain of this world seem overwhelming to me … and I feel so very helpless.

But I love this beautiful reminder …

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep”

None of this has surprised God or caught Him off guard. He is at work and He is in control. He calls to my spirit to share His love to reach out the lonely, to love the broken, and to minister to the weak.

In the week ahead, I’ll be wrapping presents, hosting parties, and traveling to see family. But, we’ll also have written into our schedule spending Sunday afternoon serving a warm meal at our local homeless shelter … we’ll be visiting nursing homes on Christmas Eve to share communion with dear senior adults … and we’ll make sure that in the midst of a crazy, busy, hectic week we take time to ring the bells as best we can in this celebratory song ~

Peace on earth, goodwill to men.

How will you be spending the next week? Will it be filled with last minute preparations and constant busy-ness or have you already determined to make serving others and spending time with Christ a priority?

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