I sing with the choir in our church – not because they need my untrained voice, but because I love to lift my much-less-than-perfect voice in praise to God. I love to join with these people who live around me and gather together to worship each Sunday.
We are singing today an arrangement written for Longfellow’s poem, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Yesterday as we rehearsed the third verse, I was touched as we sang, “There is no peace on earth….for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.”
My mind flooded with images and thoughts confirming that sentiment. Hate IS strong among men, and there is so much that is tragic and unfair. Innocents suffer at the hands of conspiring men, and so much pain goes unrelieved. I see greed and corruption causing poverty and want. The thought entered my heart, “How can God allow it? How can we feel hope when so many prayers seem to go unanswered, and when the world is filled with such sadness? When will there ever be peace on earth, and good will among men?”
Then, we began to sing the fourth verse:
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.”
I clung to that thought. I remembered the many times I have seen God’s hand in my life. I know He lives and is working among us constantly. I remembered that we have the promise that, in the end, right will triumph.
I was reminded that we have been given the greatest gift possible: We have hope, because we have a Savior who has shown us how to live, who can comfort us in our trials, and who has promised to help us overcome our weaknesses, sorrows, and pains. And we have His promise that in the end, all things will be made right, and right WILL prevail. Until that happens, our purpose is to spread that hope, and to live the best we can so that we lift as many of our fellow beings as possible. And as we do, our personal world will ‘revolve from night to day”, and we will feel joy, and peace – the deep, abiding peace that comes in this world only to those who know the Prince of Peace. May His peace reign in your heart this Christmas!