Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sounds of the Season

I wanna take a break from the freshly-picked-back-up series on remembering, in order to post a thought or two about the holiday season.

Let me start out by saying that my dear friend Ellen Samples has begun writing a blog! (You can find it at A prouder friend I could not be!!! Lately she's been sharing a lot of her Christmas music with us, which i absolutely LOVE! I'm a sucker for Christmas music, although my tastes are somewhat different from hers.

My absolute favorite Christmas song is "O Come, All Ye Faithful". I started out liking this song as a young child, for reasons that i may explain later, as Ellen would say, if you beg me to enough. But as an adult, I LOVE the message. An invitation to all the faithful, joyful & triumphant, to come to Bethlehem and adore Him who was adjuring of the choirs of angels to sing glory to His name...a celebration of the Word of the Father, here on earth in the flesh...and an invitation to adore Him, for He alone is worthy! Folks, the good news doesn't get any better than that!

Another song I've come to appreciate more recently is one that actually used to get on my nerves. I don't care much for songs that are too repetetive, and the overly-drawn out "Glooooooooooooooooria" of "Angels We Have Heard on High" was almost more than I could take. Then one day I started paying attention to the words to the verses. We start off talking about hearing the angels sweetly singing, and the mountains echoing their joyous song. Then it's asking the shepherds what inspires their heavenly song...and finally, not all too different from "O Come All Ye Faithful", there's an invitation to come and see Him whose birth the angels come and adore on bended knee Christ the Lord, the newborn king.

And while we're talking about the angels, another of my long-time favorites is "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". I'll admit on this one it's that it reminds me of so many incredble passages of scripture! Peace on earth! (Luke 2:14) God and sinners reconciled! (Rom. 5:9-10) He lays his glory by (kinda reminds me of Phil. 2), born that man no more may die! (John 11:25-26) Born to raise the sons of earth (John 6:40), born to give them second birth (John 3:3)! Healing in His wings (Is.53:5), Light (John 8:12) Life (John 11:25) Son of Righteousness (II Cor. 5:21), Prince of Peace(Is. 9:6)! GREAT SONG!

But the reason I started writing this tonight was to tell you of a new favorite that I've got to add to the list. I was never too familiar with the song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day". It wasn't one that I ever listened to or really even cared to listen to. But I listen to a lot of contemporary Christian music, so a lot of positive, encouraging KLOVE gets played in my car, and last year, about this time of year, I kept hearing a new version of this song by Casting Crowns. I don't own this song, or their Christmas CD, and I've yet to catch it on the air this year. :( But I may just have to get this song because it's beautiful!

The thing about this song is that it's SO real. So HONEST.

In class the past couple of Sundays, and even this past Wednesday night, we talked about how we don't always feel the peace/joy that is promised to us as Christians. This song expresses that so beautifully, as the writer hears the bells, with the songs of "peace on earth". But he bows his head in despair, feeling that there's no peace on earth, "for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men".

Yet the song of "peace on earth"persists...he realizes that God is still in despite what is going on around him, in his heart, he knows that righteousness and peace will prevail.

Below are the words to the song, along with a link where you can hear Casting Crowns' outstanding version of this song that has grown on me so quickly.

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men

And the bells are ringing
Like a choir they're singing
In my heart I hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

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

But the bells are ringing
Like a choir singing
Does anybody hear them?
Peace on earth, good will to men

Then rang 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

Then ringing singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men

And the bells they're ringing
Like a choir they're singing
And with our hearts we'll hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Do you hear the bells they're ringing?
The life the angels singing
Open up your heart and hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men
Peace on earth, Peace on earth
Peace on earth, Good will to men

© 2008 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Publishing Designee (Public Domain?), Mark Hall Publishing Designee, Bernie Herms Publishing Designee, Dale??? Publishing Designee, Stephen Lamb Publishing Designee

Also, if you are fortunate enough to have my cell phone # and you happen to call it, this song will be the answer tone you'll hear during this holiday season! You're welcome.

Wishing you all much love and peace this Christmas season!

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