Someone wrote a comment on one of the days about not liking new tunes to old familiar lyrics and I do understand that.
I can only take so much of various artists stylizing a carol into some kind of modern rendition but I have to make an exception with the song I chose for this post.
While I grew up with Johnny Cash’s version of the traditional melody to the song I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day…I do love the way Casting Crowns sings it.
They have used the notes and tempo to effectively give meaning to the haunting lyrics that express so well the tension of believing the Hope of Christmas in spite of everything around us shouting to the contrary.
I looked up the story behind this one and it is based on a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the Civil War.
Two years into mourning the loss of his second wife, his son had enlisted in the Union Army without his father’s permission. He was wounded in the fighting.
Longfellow’s poem speaks of the heartache of a nation torn apart by war.
Some of the original verses are unfamiliar to us in the carol we know now, references to cannons roaring and likening it to an earthquake ripping apart the heart of a continent.
Not much different than what we face here today, is it?
Our country and our very world is filled with so much division and anger and violence.
Perhaps that is why the lines still resonate so well…the lack of “peace on earth” mocks so much of the message of Christmas and we must hold fast to Longfellow’s final revelation…
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”
Jesus Christ IS the Righteous One and He IS our Prince of Peace.
May the truth of that ring strong in your hearts today and throughout the remainder of this season, carrying us into 2018 with renewed hope and faith that He is able.
I pray for each of you to have a blessed and joy-filled Christmas…in the midst of whatever…that you will know Him and know His Peace <3