Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Heard the Bells...Despite My Squishy Kitchen Floor

Dear friends,

It was a day of baking cookies and eating way too many of them.  (The jeans are definitely on the snug side.)  The kitchen floor has those yucky spots where the beaters went mad (or was it the cook?) and cookie dough landed and got squished before a wash cloth made an appearance.  The cat has been knocking things off the Christmas tree, and the shiny silver beads lack those lovely, symmetrical drops you see on TV trees.  There was a coke can ( left by one of the THREE teenagers in this house) in front of the wise men in our manger scene, and when I tried to listen to the Christmas carol that's the subject of this blog on YouTube, I kept getting that annoying pause where the circle thing in the middle of the screen spins round and round.  Here in Smitty Land, we do not do Martha Stewart Christmases.  But then again, the first Christmas was messy business too.  We're in the best of company.

So I was asked by Brother Bob D. to write a little background for the song he's singing at our Christmas Eve service at Delmar Full Gospel Church.  The song is the well known "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day".  I've listened to the Casting Crowns version of this carol quite a few times now, and never without tissue in hand.  I thought I'd share a streamlined version of the the story behind the song with you.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was our nation's premier poet back in the mid 19th century.  He is probably best known for penning "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere."  As with many great literary works, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" was born out of great suffering and a mighty struggle.  In 1861, Longfellow's beloved wife was burned to death attempting to heirloom a lock of her daughter's hair.  Shortly after that, the Civil War began.  HWL was vexed by the brokenness of his country, and the abomination of slavery.  Then came news that shook his faith to the core: his eldest son suffered a crippling injury on the battlefield.  Longfellow grew angry and despaired.  He would spend the next year sorting out his rage and sorrow.

Longfellow's restoration to hope came as the Great One gently lead the sensitive poet from darkness to light.  When the church bells rang on December 25, 1864, Henry wrote the poem which would later be a song for the ages...  The song I sob to as I sit in front of a computer screen hearing his profound words put to music: 

"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep,
God is not dead, nor does He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men...

Listen to it for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7670CXvPX0 Be blessed to know that there is always hope.  And don't worry a bit about having a perfect Christmas.  When God crashed through the boundaries of Heaven and Earth to inhabit a human body, he left all that was perfect to live with us in our mess.  So we would know for certain "God is not dead, nor does He sleep". 

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


P.S.  So glad to be back with you!  Of course, I won't be writing daily as I did for the previous blog, but I will try to post something at least once a week.  I also plan to have some contributing bloggers along the way. Thanks for the kind words, comments and emails I've already received!

No comments:

Post a Comment