Friday, December 12, 2014

Day 13: "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"

   So, today I can redeem myself with my mother. She may not care for "Go, Tell It On The Mountain", but today is her favorite. I don't know if she is familiar with the story behind it, but I know it will only increase her fondness for this beautiful carol. The short version: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (yes, the same famous American poet) wrote this in the thick of the Civil War, after his son had joined the Union Army against his father's wishes,and was gravely injured shortly thereafter,  and Longfellow's wife had died in a tragic accident. He surely bowed his head in despair many times during those black days. But rather than allowing Christmas to increase his sorrow, Longfellow realized that the true meaning of that day is hope-for salvation, for love, for forgiveness, and for restoration, if not here on earth, than definitely in heaven. Isn't that just wonderful?

Lyrics: "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"

The Baptist Hymnal (1991): #98

Questions for thoughts and discussion:
1. The strongest recurring theme here is peace, in both the songs and the verses. It is easy to see why Longfellow craved peace, but don't you, too? Why do you think Jesus is called the "Prince of Peace"?

2. Peace and reconciliation are both mentioned in the passage from Colossians. Can you have reconciliation without peace? Or peace without reconciliation?

3. "God is not dead, nor does He sleep"...sometimes when life is hard, the opposite seems true, even to a believer. We have so many promises from the Lord that He will never leave us, and yet we still struggle. What are some practical things you can do to counteract those lies? How can you remind yourself that He will "reign...forever"?

Looking for the entire printable? It's here. 

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