Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Carols

My favorite Christmas song was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, entitled "I heard the Bells on Christmas Day."

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on Earth goodwill to men

I thought as how the day had come
The belfries of all Christendom
Had tolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth goodwill to men

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For Hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth goodwill to men

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
For wrong shall fail and right prevail
With peace on earth goodwill to me

Till 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.

I love this song. It has such a profound lesson to teach us. We live in a time of war, poverty, fear on all scales and a government which seems to be out of control. People who have no jobs, the economy is up one day and down the next like a mad roller coaster ride to destruction, but Longfellow's words descend like a dove from on high. "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep!"

What an amazing reminder that "peace on earth" is not just some fantasy, but God has promised through the Prince of Peace that one day there will indeed be peace on earth. It is true that we might not see peace between everyone, but we can have peace in our hearts, and that is the first place that it has to start. We can't impose peace. When governments have tried, it only produced a quite smoldering resentment. But if there is peace in our hearts, then it overflows to those around us. I think this is the basis of what Jesus was trying to tell us when He said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If we are at peace with God and ourselves, then that peace will flow out of us and into others.

Perhaps, we can help bring some of that peace to ourselves this Christmas season, by changing our perspectives from focusing on the minutiae and all of the things that could get us down, or all the things that we want and do not have, and instead leave these issues in the hands of our loving Father who cares for us, and instead of spreading discontent and discouragement, we could focus on the blessings that we have been given.

God bless,


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