Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes it doesn’t feel so wonderful.
Maybe you lost a loved one, a job, or a relationship. Maybe you received an unexpected health diagnosis. Maybe you are disappointed because life isn’t turning out as you expected. Maybe the reality of life has left you a little apathetic and even a little hostile towards anything Christmas.
There are some years you just don’t feel like celebrating Christmas.
The great American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, might not have felt like celebrating Christmas in 1863. Henry's wife died tragically two years earlier after her dress caught fire. Henry suffered severe burns trying to rescue her and was unable to attend her funeral. On December 1, 1863, Henry received a telegram that his son was severely wounded in the Civil War. In the midst of his grief, Henry wrote the words to the poem, which were later turned into the hymn, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.
The poem describes the bells on Christmas day proclaiming peace on earth despite feelings of despair amidst grief and a bloody civil war.
This poem is a powerful reminder to us that no matter how hopeless our circumstances may seem, there is hope and peace through Jesus Christ. If you are a little disillusioned with Christmas this year, I encourage you to stop and listen for the bells.
Bells quietly ringing in truth.
Bells celebrating the delivery of hope, come as a baby in a manger, to redeem us from a sinful broken world.
Bells ringing peace on earth and goodwill to men.