It is just one week until we celebrate Christmas Day, the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. I decided to bring you the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that has been arranged as a modern Christmas song called "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
." The story behind the poem and song are extraordinary and its story continues today. Jesus came to bring peace and love to all nations and yet we still war with each other. There are wars between nations. There are wars between people of the same nation. There are wars waged against children, women, and those who have different perspectives on life. It is so sad!
As we rejoice in the company of family and friends this holiday season, partaking of sumptuous meals in our warm and cosy homes, may we remember those war weary souls who have fought and are still fighting for freedom - freedom of religion, freedom of individuality, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and association and so much more.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote his poem at the time of the Civil War in the USA. He was heartbroken over the loss of his wife and the injury sustained by his son in the war. He heard the church bells ringing on Christmas Day, yet he could not understand why we continue to wage war. He writes:
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."
This poem and song is my Christmas gift to all the ABC Wednesday contributors. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.