Christmas Bells

Church bellsA recent knee replacement accompanied with unexpected complications has greatly restricted my movements. Hours of elevating and icing my knee have left me with abundant time for daytime TV viewing. Much of that time has been spent watching cable news. For me, the Christmas Season has been ushered in by reports of terrorist attacks internationally and here at home. News of beheadings and the slaughter of innocents crackle across the airwaves. There are wars raging in the Middle East, Ukraine, and Afghanistan. There have been three hundred fifty-seven mass shootings (4 or more killed) in U.S. this year.

My heart became deeply distressed. A dark shroud hung over the beautiful message of Christmas. The news each day seemed to mitigate against the joy that should accompany the birth of “The Peace of Peace”. Perhaps you have had similar feelings?

May I share a Christmas carol that has helped me regain a right prospective? Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned the words to the poem “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” on Dec. 25, 1864. The poem gave birth to the carol bearing the same name:

“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 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!”

~ Brother Roy

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