Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011 Thoughts …

Peaceful Christmas VillageOne of my favorite Christmas songs is “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. For me the lyrics capture  life’s bittersweet moments and the hope we all carry for a better tomorrow. The words were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on Christmas Day 1864 and later set to music by John Baptiste Calkin.

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.

I 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!

No one that I know well, even those who are outwardly successful, have not experienced the feelings captured by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as he writes “And in despair I bowed my head … .” On the eve of his crucifixion Christ made this statement to his disciples “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” —John 14:27.

In spite of whatever misfortunes we face and whatever difficult circumstances we find ourselves in we can partake of this peace if we recognize that just as “the world revolves from night to day” life’s difficulties will dissipate and darkness will disburse in the light of the Son.

My wife and I attended the Christmas performance from which the following video was taken. The story behind the song is told by Ed Herrman backed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I’m stilled moved by Ed Hermann’s words and the choir’s performance. It is a pick-me-up regardless of the time of year and well worth the few minutes it takes to watch.

At the close of this year’s Christmas my best wishes are with you all.

“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”


  1. It's good to remember that opposition in all things is not only a reality, it's all part of the plan. We can't have the sweet without the bitter and the beautiful without the ugly. As I looked at my 3 year old granddaughter on Christmas day, I was reminded of the dark of the last two plus years as she fought leukemia. That dark has indeed turned to brilliant light as this Christmas she is cancer free and still with us. Thanks for this posting Rod. Merry Christmas!

  2. Alan thanks for sharing such a great story.


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