There is a song for Advent in this post – you just have to read a lot first! :)
Today I am adding Casting Crown’s “I Heard the Bells.” It was probably about 10 or 12 years ago that I began to really understand the amazing thing that happened over “secular” radio airwaves each Christmas season as classic Christmas carols were played. There it was – out in the hustle and bustle of shopping and crowds and malls, KOSI-101 playing Bing Crosby’s voice singing these lyrics:
“…’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 DOES HE SLEEP;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With PEACE ON EARTH, goodwill to men.”
The story of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow writing these words, while unique to him, also proves that across time, we all experience the pain of loss. These are chaotic and confusing days and our world is politically, socially and most certainly spiritually distraught. Then in our own small lives an unforeseen setback comes to mar the beauty of the life we had tried to carve out. Sickness, professional fails, broken friendships, shattered dreams, the death of some one important…it can cause us to want to just forget about the whole Christmas thing, to feel as Longfellow did at the prospect of merry-making
“In despair I bowed my head, ‘There is no peace on earth, ‘ I said.”
But, oh how I thank Henry W. Longfellow for pressing through and getting the revelation of the truth of what the angels proclaimed in dazzling, glorious, bright-light words to the shepherds so long ago. Because he wrote the words that led to a song that, while we may see it as just another old-fashioned Christmas carol, becomes a TRUTH released into the atmosphere proclaiming the VERY words of God and His Word will always, ALWAYS accomplish what it was sent forth to do. Dig it, people – Christmas is a time you can actually, really, with total boldness and clarity declare the Word of God on your life, on the lives of your friends and family and into your community. You have the GOOD NEWS! Give it!
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
‘Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!'” Luke 2
So, for today, Casting Crowns with a newer rendition of these powerful lyrics. This song gives me goosebumps! Everytime the choir sings, “Peace on Earth,” I get so excited about this amazing gift from heaven all over again.
Glory to God in the highest – I worship Him, I gift Him with my abandoned love and praise. Peace on earth and goodwill – He gifts me back! And He gives good gifts! Please receive this today, and believe it no matter how scary or hopeless the world seems: God is good and He gives PEACE. May you be blessed today with a “suddenly” moment just like the shepherds were. :)
P.S. No kidding – I really just mean to post a song, not get all crazy enthusiastic about it, but this i what happens to me!
Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14.27
3 thoughts on “He shall be called Prince of Peace…”
I agree that this is a great song! You guys introduced us all to it. Unfortunately most of the the truly awesome Christmas songs were written years ago and for some reason newer ones just don’t quite cut it, but this rendition is a classic now, in my opinion too.
Of course you know this one of my favorite songs. It played such a big part in last year’s production of Merry Gentlemen. The reason I put it in was because of the phrase you mentioned …”God is not dead nor does he sleep”… The hope above hopes. This world needs Jesus. Now more than ever before.
I agree, this is one of the best Christmas songs! Last year, especially right after the Sandy Hook shooting, I couldn’t stop playing it over and over and over again. Especially with how near Christmas that tragedy occurred, the lyrics fell fresh on me.