I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

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Photo credit: gleangenie from morguefile.com

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas Day, 
Their old familiar carols play.  
And wild and sweet the words repeat 
Of peace on earth goodwill 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 goodwill to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep; 
“God is not dead, not doth He sleep; 
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, 
With peace on earth goodwill to men.

Words:  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1864
Music: Jean Baptiste Calkin, 1872

Amen!

Timely words for today’s world.  As we enter this Christmas season all of the old, familiar songs, movies, activities will come round.  It’s all very familiar.  For many, over the past few weeks, the world they live in has been filled with despair, for there is no peace on earth.  Hate is strong and flowing in all directions at the same time.  Even among those who follow Christ there seems to more and more fear and hate creeping in, wafting in and out of the the nooks and crannies of faith and family.

But God is not dead and he’s not sleeping on the world.  It may be hard to see but wrong will fail, evil will be defeated and death will die.  Right will overcome wrong; good will overcome evil; life will overcome death.

Peace is the common thread through it all.  In the midst of turmoil there can be peace.  At the same time peace is the thing for which we continually strive.

~deil~

Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus

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Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art–
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart!

Words:  Charles Wesley, 1744
Music: Rowland H. Prichard, 1830

The people had long been expecting their Messiah, this is true.  But when he came he wasn’t anything like what they expected.  In fact, they did not recognize him.  They were expecting a mighty King that leveraged his power and authority to wipe out all those that stood against God and His chosen people.  Instead, Emmanuel came as an ordinary man who leveraged compassion, mercy, grace and love to change the world.

This is an excellent book that tells the story for children (and adults)–Tabitha’s Travels by Arnold Ytreeide

~deil~

Praise God, From Whom All Blessing Flow

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Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow

Words:  Thomas K en, 1709  /  Music: Louis Bourgeois, 1551

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above , ye Heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Amen!

Praise does not come easy today. Looking ahead to what this day holds brings more worry and foreboding than the inclination to praise. Yet, we are reminded that praise is both our purpose and our calling. James wrote, and I paraphrase here for emphasis–Consider a reason to be be joyful, a reason for praise, when you face difficulties and hard time (James 1:2).

I am reminded of another another song of a slightly different genre than the beloved hymn above.  Petra sang this back in the 90’s and recorded it on their album “All Fired Up” —

Somebody’s gonna praise His name
Somebody’s gonna call him “Lord”
It’ll either be you or me, or it’s gonna be a rock or tree
Somebody, somebody’s gonna praise His  name

In the midst of very difficult circumstances, praise can be (and should be) my response.  That “somebody” should be me!

 

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Standard


Photo credit: gleangenie from morguefile.com

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas Day, 
Their old familiar carols play.  
And wild and sweet the words repeat 
Of peace on earth goodwill 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 goodwill to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep; 
“God is not dead, not doth He sleep; 
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, 
With peace on earth goodwill to men.

Words:  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1864
Music: Jean Baptiste Calkin, 1872

Amen!

Timely words for today’s world.  As we enter this Christmas season all of the old, familiar songs, movies, activities will come round.  It’s all very familiar.  For many, over the past few weeks, the world they live in has been filled with despair, for there is no peace on earth.  Hate is strong and flowing in all directions at the same time.  Even among those who follow Christ there seems to more and more fear and hate creeping in, wafting in and out of the the nooks and crannies of faith and family.

But God is not dead and he’s not sleeping on the world.  It may be hard to see but wrong will fail, evil will be defeated and death will die.  Right will overcome wrong; good will overcome evil; life will overcome death.

Peace is the common thread through it all.  In the midst of turmoil there can be peace.  At the same time peace is the thing for which we continually strive.

~deil~

Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus

Standard

Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art–
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart!

Words:  Charles Wesley, 1744
Music: Rowland H. Prichard, 1830

The people had long been expecting their Messiah, this is true.  But when he came he wasn’t anything like what they expected.  In fact, they did not recognize him.  They were expecting a mighty King that leveraged his power and authority to wipe out all those that stood against God and His chosen people.  Instead, Emmanuel came as an ordinary man who leveraged compassion, mercy, grace and love to change the world.

This is an excellent book that tells the story for children (and adults)–Tabitha’s Travels by Arnold Ytreeide

~deil~

Praise God, From Whom All Blessing Flow

Standard

Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow

Words:  Thomas K en, 1709  /  Music: Louis Bourgeois, 1551

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above , ye Heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Amen!

Praise does not come easy today. Looking ahead to what this day holds brings more worry and foreboding than the inclination to praise. Yet, we are reminded that praise is both our purpose and our calling. James wrote, and I paraphrase here for emphasis–Consider a reason to be be joyful, a reason for praise, when you face difficulties and hard time (James 1:2).

I am reminded of another another song of a slightly different genre than the beloved hymn above.  Petra sang this back in the 90’s and recorded it on their album “All Fired Up” —

Somebody’s gonna praise His name
Somebody’s gonna call him “Lord”
It’ll either be you or me, or it’s gonna be a rock or tree
Somebody, somebody’s gonna praise His  name

In the midst of very difficult circumstances, praise can be (and should be) my response.  That “somebody” should be me!