I am a lover of all sorts of music (old and new, different styles), but I especially enjoy listening to tried and true musical arrangements, and researching the stories behind them.
One of my favorite Christmas songs is I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It has become an even more precious favorite since I've read the story behind the lyrics.
Never have the words of a song been more true and appropriate ...
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!"
What Longfellow lamented in the midst of the Civil War, we could truthfully repeat in light of the conflict and hatred of this century.
Fortunately, the song does not end on such a dark and depressing note. Longfellow went on to rejoice ...
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-well to men."
May we remember the promise of these words. Whether we are listening once again to media reports of terrorism and destruction, or struggling with personal circumstances that leave us discouraged and depressed ... never forget that our God is *not* dead! And He does not sleep.
Let the hope of this promise saturate your thoughts and heart as you celebrate Christmas tomorrow.
Still on the journey,
PS - My very favorite arrangement of this Christmas classic was recorded by Casting Crowns in 2008. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do every year.