MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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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 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.

This year our house of prayer had the high honor of singing Christmas carols today, on Christmas Eve at the State Capitol Christmas party.  It was such a privilege to sing about the blessed hope of Jesus in our state seat of government!  As we sang, I started to think through the words of these beloved old carols.  Each of these carols was like a sermon, preaching about the incarnation of our Savior and the hope we have through Him.  What an awesome way to offer this reminder to those who work in our State Capitol!

One song began to especially speak to me,  “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”.  The words of that Christmas carol seem so relevant today!  This carol was written in 1863, in the midst of one of the bloodiest times in the history of our country, the Great Civil War.  Henry Wadworth Longfellow just lost his beloved wife and his son was severely wounded in the Battle of New Hope Church.  As he listened to the peal of the bells followed by Civil War cannon fire in the distance, Longfellow contemplated the messages of both sounds – one of war and one of peace.  Even with cannons firing off in the background, the church bells began to rekindle hope in his heart.  Through the saving power of that newborn baby, there could be peace with God and goodwill toward his fellow man.

How these words seem to fit today!  Again our world is going through increasingly violent times.  Again many of us are asking, “Is there no peace?”  But, as the words of this song reminds us there is “peace on earth, goodwill to men”.  It’s not about the absence of war or conflict.  What this Christmas carol reminds us of, is the type of peace that only Jesus can give you:

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled,
neither let them be afraid”.  John 14:27

 It is so astounding to realize we serve and worship a God Who is with us in the midst of the storms.  The storms may not be taken away, but there is a God Who comes to us and holds us as the storms pass through our lives!

May you feel the Lord holding you in His arms with His peace as you go through the storms that surround you.

Weekly prayer meetings:

MONDAYS 7-9 PM School of Prayer

WEDNESDAYS 8-10 AM Morning Prayer

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