I heard the bells

There’s a Christmas Carol that’s one of my favorites. It’s called, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. It’s written from a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and you’ve all heard it over and over again. The words are very sweet.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

They’re old, familiar carol’s play and wild and sweet. The words repeat of peace on earth, goodwill to men. But you probably haven’t really listened to the body of the song, because a lot of times they don’t play the verses in the middle. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote this when he was in great morning.

Two years prior, his wife, his beloved wife, had died in a tragic fire. She had actually caught her dress on fire and could not get out of all of the bust-line and all of the clothing that they wore back in the 1800’s, and she burnt to death in his library. He was trying to help her and was severely burned himself.

This was during the heart of the Civil War, and he was still grieving from the loss of his wife when his son, who is in the military, had been severely wounded, and is laying paralyzed in a hospital. Longfellow is actually in his son’s room at the hospital when he writes this poem. He is looking out across the streets, out the windows and he’s saying, there really is no peace.

There really is no peace on earth. He goes on and he says, and then from each black, accursed mouth, the cannon thundered in the South, and with the sound, the carols drowned, there is no peace, no goodwill to man.

The early part of the song is cheerful, but in the heart of the song, he’s very sad.

He is very determined that even though it’s supposed to be a happy time of year, that there is absolutely no joy anywhere he looks.

So many times at this time of year, people all around us are going through some of the most difficult times. They’ll tell you statistically, the month of December is the highest rate of suicide of all year long. People are so depressed and so upset, and so worried and concerned, and feeling left out and feeling alone in the month of December.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is looking out the window and all of a sudden he hears the church bells beginning to ring, and when the church bells are beginning to ring, he begins to say this.

Although I felt in despair that there is no peace on earth, I said that hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill toward men. Then pealed the bells more loud and deep, peeled more loud and deep. God is not dead; nor does He sleep.

I want you to remember that God is not dead, nor does He sleep when you hear the bells ringing.

God is not dead. He does not sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail.

There truly is Peace on earth, goodwill to men.