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  • Writer's pictureColleen Hall

Christmas Time

Christmas is a time for family, lights, baked goodies, Christmas trees, and joy. Most especially, Christmas is a time to reflect on the reason why we celebrate Christmas—the birth of our Savior, who came to earth to redeem fallen mankind. Christ is the reason why we have hope and joy. Even now, when world and national events are discouraging, in Christ we can have hope.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” whose words were penned by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He wrote the words during a dark period in his life, yet the poem ends on a note of victory. The story behind the song is this:

“On Christmas Day in 1863, the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow listened to the bells from a nearby church, overwhelmed by loss.

Two years earlier, his wife had burned to death in a fire, and he had also been badly burned trying to save her. At times, his grief was so great that he feared that he would be sent to an asylum.

His son had also been wounded in the Civil War and was temporarily paralyzed. As he listened to the church bells, Longfellow wrote a poem that reflected his grief:

“In despair,” he wrote, “I bowed my head. There is no peace on earth, I said.”

But he ended the poem, which was later put to music, on a note of triumph.

“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.""

Merry Christmas to you all!


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