Andy brought to my attention today the beautiful lyrics to this traditional Christmas tune that I have never noticed before. Here's a few of my favorite stanzas:
"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, goodwill 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, goodwill to men.'"
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote this as a poem shortly after his wife had been burned alive and in the midst of the tragedy of the Civil War. The first Christmas after his wife was gone, he wrote in his journal, "How inexpressibly sad are the holidays." With the ringing of the Christmas bells, he was once again reminded that, "God is not dead, nor doth he sleep."
May God comfort those who are "inexpressibly sad" this Christmas and remind them that he is ever watching over his children. And may he grant us the grace to remember this in times of suffering.