From John Sykes
On this Christmas Day, I revel in these two pieces that herald the hope we should have but often have trouble finding!
Listen to the glorious piece "I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day" by Casting Crowns while you read KrisAnne's paen to lost hope found.
From KrisAnne Hall in Peace on Earth? Good Will Toward Men?
...In one of the darkest moments of our history, a story is told of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Henry’s wife had been tragically and fatally burned in June of 1861. Henry, himself, was badly burned trying to put out the fire that consumed his beloved wife. He was so consumed by grief over the loss of his wife, at Christmas he wrote in his journal, “How inexpressibly sad are all holidays." One year later, Henry wrote, “A merry Christmas' say the children, but that is no more for me." That following year, Henry learns that his oldest son was severely wounded in the Civil War after a bullet passed under his should blades damaging his spine. His journal was blank on Christmas on 1864. However, on Christmas day, 1865, Henry penned the words to “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. During one of the darkest times our nation has ever known, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow found his hope;
"I heard the bells on Christmas DayTheir old familiar carols play,And wild and sweetThe words repeatOf peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,The belfries of all ChristendomHad rolled alongThe unbroken songOf 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 songOf 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!"
Henry awoke from his despair and realized that God is not dead and is still the Giver of peace and hope. He knew that God promises victory to those who trust in Christ and will stand for God’s gifts. He was able to express that hope in the phrase, “God is not dead; nor does he sleep! The Wrong shall fail; the Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men!” That same promise belongs to us, the greatest nation this world has ever known. We simply must place our trust in the right place. My hope is not in Congress. My hope is not in any man or his government. In this holy season, let us not forget that through the shed blood of Christ, whether the victory is on the battle field or through the gates of Heaven, we are winners either way. This is the REAL HOPE; a hope that can change the world. Read it all here...
God save us all!