‘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.”‘
*from “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow*-
These are the final two stanzas of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Christmas hymn “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” I find the words are a helpful reminder in an age where the greeting is “Happy Holidays,” and the calendars and discount tags read “X-mas” instead of “CHRISTmas.”
The truth is, our world hates and despises our Lord; they sing the Christmas carols, but the words fall on deaf ears; the meaning of Christmas has been diminished to parties, parades, and presents. Our world no longer cares for the true story of a supernatural Child born in Bethlehem. There is no love or gratitude for the human race’s sacrificial lamb. The story of Christmas is either disregarded as a distasteful fairytale or met with hostility by those bitter and convicted souls. Christmas sounds a little depressing now, doesn’t it?
However– we are reminded by the triumphant finale of this classic hymn that “GOD is not dead, nor doth He sleep; the Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail…” We are servants of the King, children of the Father, the elect of God; and God has never ceased to be in control. He feels each hateful word uttered by mouths He created Himself; we cant’t imagine how each one grieves and hurts Him! He gave His precious Son as a gift to mankind, and mankind has both rejected Him and become indifferent to Him. As servants, children, the elect– we have a job to do! We are to oppose opposition with gentle firmness, with boldness, with pity, and with Love. The wrong may seem strong, but with the very real power of Christmas joy in our hearts, we can overcome it. Let’s share the gospel! Let’s be pictures of His life to a society that loves visual demonstrations. Harness that holiday cheer and spread it around! Be a source of peace and good-will on earth, to all men!
“The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.” ~Psalm 18:46
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” ~Romans 8:31