I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Hymn)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1863)

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.”

I love the progression of this song.  It is easy to look around and feel despair.  It is easy to look around and see that there is no peace on earth.  We can see all of the hate and sin, and it does seem to mock the promise of “peace on earth and good will to men.”  But then we hear the Christmas bells and they remind us “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep…”  What a wonderful Saviour and what a wonderful time of the year is Christmas!

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