Words to "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" ~ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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.
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."
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."
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.!
On Christmas Eve 1863, during the Civil War, Longfellow wrote the words to this now familiar Christmas carol. Longfellow wrote these words "only six months after the Battle of Gettysburg where over 40,000 soldiers lost their lives. One of the country's most influential writers, he taught literature for seventeen years at Harvard University. His faith in the power of God and man to join and transcend the horrors of war gave birth to this song, inspired by his hearing the ringing of the Christmas bells."* Musical scores have been composed over the years making this a very familiar Christmas carol.
My post on the First Sunday of Advent December 2 included a modern arrangement by Casting Crowns. Listen to it again. We all find ourselves is various forms of war every day. Hope lies in remembering God is Sovereign and in control. In surrendering difficult times to Him, our minds find peace. With thanksgiving for His Unfailing Goodness, our hearts know an inward peace. In times of war, in moments of loss, we offer prayers and praises to the Love Most High. Comfort is not simply the peace of God but in knowing the God of peace will be with you. This is Everlasting HOPE! ~ dho
* www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"