Hear The Bells

Here’s a carol I don’t really know well – I came across it recently in a reading. It’s based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, written in a time of war and loss.
This world, right now, is not a peaceful world – even though some of us live in relative peace. There’s always turmoil if you look.

Isaiah wrote about a hope of peace, in a time of turmoil…

The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
    light! sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation,
    you expanded its joy.
Oh, they’re so glad in your presence!
    Festival joy!
The joy of a great celebration,
    sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
    all their whips and cudgels and curses—
Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
    as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian.
The boots of all those invading troops,
    along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned,
    a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us!
    the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
    the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
    Strong God,
Eternal Father,
    Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
    and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
    over that promised kingdom.
He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing
    and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
    beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
    will do all this.
(Isaiah 9:2-7)

That’s the Hope we celebrate at Christmas.
We may still be waiting to see the final outcome of that Hope…
but we can still remember –
The Prince of Peace has come!

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Published in: on December 25, 2015 at 8:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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