Pastor's Paragraph for December 9, 2018

DECEMBER 9, 2018

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If you are old enough, or if you are a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow fan, you will know the opening words to his poem I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. A poem that often finds its way out of storage during this season as we approach Christmas.

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!

Like many of our favorite songs, poems and even scriptures, we can only get past the first verse, or the first line as we try to recall the words. Those who have written for us often want to tell a full story or maybe offer advice through the words they share. Longfellow was no different, I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day, as pleasant as it begins has a very dark message and then he leads us to hope. He expresses in his words:        

“For hate is strong,
       And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!” 

In an awkward way, I believe that the world often does that to us as we attempt to celebrate a Christ-filled Christmas or as we bring a God-filled joy to this season. I happen to believe that hope still exists.

My hope is that there may be peace on earth or at least peace in individual hearts. My hope is that maybe good-will between people is possible or at least personal behavior that is not destructive to the soul. 

As dark and literally sad as Longfellow’s words can be he offers us encouragement in the last verse. 

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.”

I pray this Advent Season that you might join me in attempting to bring peace to this earth and to share good-will to those around you.

Pastor Gary Weaver