Saturday, December 18, 2010

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day*

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.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of 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 song
Of 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 Wordsworth Longfellow, 1864

*Usually sung to a tune written by Jean Baptiste Calkin
*This poem was written during the Civil War. Two stanzas further reflecting the sense of despair over the war are not usually included anymore in the hymn and are not included here.


Anonymous said...

A Holiday Thought...

Aren't humans amazing? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for "Peace on Earth."

~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald's Factory Farm by C. David Coates~


Anyone can break this cycle of violence! Everyone has the power to choose compassion! Please visit these websites to align your core values with life affirming choices: &

"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." ~ Genesis 1:29

C. Marie Byars said...

I do agree that many things in the world would be better if we seriously cut back on our animal matter intake: I have looked into this several times & ways over the years. You didn't mention it directly, but some of your ideas alluded to the fact that it just takes so much more energy & uses so many more acres of grain to get animal protein to our tables.

However, we do live in a sin-broken world, one which is in "labor pains", waiting for the next to be born. (Romans 8:19). Part of that "brokenness" seems to be that humans NOW have an extremely hard time getting all the nutrition they need without some intake of animal matter. Vitamin B12 is a notable factor.

Still, I think our raising & using of animals for food needs to be less and needs to be more humane. Even before there was a Jewish nation, God commanded Noah, when people were first given permission to eat animals, to kill them a certain way. They were to kill animals in a way that drained the blood out of them, not by clubbing, which often happens now.

After the Jewish dietary & other writings came into being, there are many, many examples of how even food animals are to be used with thought, care & kindness, even though they are being killed for food.

And, at our house, when we do eat animal products, we don't "gloss it over." "Pig" is "Pig" not "Pork", etc.

I admire many of your thoughts. Thanks for coming by. Keep on reading. And please keep trusting that, ultimately, "the right will prevail." We will only see it partly until Christ returns.