Saturday, December 27, 2014

"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep"

Last Sunday we sang I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day as a congregational hymn at church. Though this is a hymn that I have sung many times before, the lyrics resonated with me in new and powerful way. That's what I love about art - whether it be poetry, music, or visual - it can mean different things at different times in life. And this year, this hymn simply spoke to me.

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.

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.

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!

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 photo 8c3d0ca1-5232-43e7-83ea-c85f2b9225cb_zps067ba636.jpg

I know that this picture doesn't exactly relate to I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, but it is yet another thing that made me immensely happy this Christmas. Elsa drew a picture of our family - using sheep to depict us. She put a bow tie on Donald, a dress on me, a tiara on Alexandra, and a binky on Elisabeth. She told me that she didn't know what to draw for her and Lorelai, so they just have letters. Under the drawing she wrote, Families are happy. My family celebrates Christmas. My family plays together.

I am not sure what inspired Elsa to make us a family of sheep in her picture, but my mind instantly went to Isaiah 53:6 - All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

And that verse has me thinking back to the hymn above...

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."

Merry, merry!

A Christmas review is coming tomorrow!

Follow by Email

Related Posts with Thumbnails