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Monday, December 24, 2018

Inspired by . . . I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

December hasn't gone as planned. Between one thing or the other, my Dreamer and I have been sick since the 1st. Instead of the twelve days of Christmas, it's been 21 days of sickness.

I hesitate to even mention our situation since I know this time of year is difficult for so many. Those mourning losses and sitting in cancer wards certainly didn't plan that for their holiday.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the author of today's hymn focus, didn't plan to be despairing over an injured son and a dead wife on Christmas day in 1864 but it was that despair that inspired him to write these words:

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

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

Yet, Longfellow was not lost in his despair and neither are we. The message of Christmas is the message of hope. Not a pie in the sky hope but a hope sure and fixed in the Person of Jesus Christ. The Messiah. Savior. Redeemer. 

Prince of Peace.

This is the Spirit of Christmas that resounds loudly in the second half of Longfellow's poem.

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.

May the wonder of His love fill your hearts this Christmas and may the hope that is Christ with us give you peace.

Happy Christmas
from our family to yours,

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