Day 23: I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Words: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1864;
Original title from the poem "Christmas Bells"
Music: "Waltham," John Baptiste Calkin, 1872.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Melody Line Only: MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
Alternate tune: "Mainzer," Joseph Mainzer (1801-1851)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
and a contemporary score written by John D. Marks, copyright.

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

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

3. 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, good will to men.'

4. 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.'

5. 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.

Now, I recognize that this song does not speak directly of Christ's birth, but it has always struck a chord with me. 
"Peace on earth" seems impossible.  We sing of it, but look at our world: earthquakes, terrorist attacks, nuclear threats, homosexuality, denial of God, Satanism on the rise...where is this peace the angels sang of?
We can be in despair like this songwriter, "There is no peace on earth, for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men." 
Isaiah 57:21 says,  "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."  
And Romans 3:16-18 "in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.There is no fear of God before their eyes."

Doesn't that sound like the world around us? 

And what about us, those who fear God and await His return.  There is quite a different description of our lives!
Ephesians 2:17 "And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near."
Isaiah 26:3 "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."
2 Thessalonians 3:16 "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all."
Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

My friends, since we are the people of the Prince of Peace, our lives should be characterized by peace!  The peace of God...it surpasses all human understanding, but it's very real in our lives! 

Despite the turmoil in the world around us, be of GOOD CHEER!  Our Prince of Peace has already overcome the world and made it possible for us to be people of peace and live in peace with Him and mankind.  

And SOMEDAY SOON, He is coming back! And HE will restore to the whole world a kingdom of peace, and goodwill among all men!  

God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the Right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.


Allison said...

When you first said you were going to post a carol every day, I wondered how you could do that, because I didn't think there were 25 Christmas carols! It's been very interesting to see all the old carols you found that no one has ever heard (or at least I haven't). So many of them are filled with rich truths.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

little em said...

I needed to hear this truth again today. Praise God, He really does give us a peace that passes all understanding!