Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Merry Christmas, everyone! It's less than a week away; I can't believe it. I have a request from all of you. Don't worry; it's not hard, and it will take less than ten minutes. Here's what I want you to do:

1) Find a quiet spot, preferably near a fireplace or other warm spot. (This part isn't essential, but it sure adds to the ambiance.)

2) Make some hot chocolate or cider (especially if you don't have a fireplace).

3) Watch this video. It's the story of how the Christmas hymn, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" came to be as told by Ed Herrman at last year's Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert. Ever since I saw this last December, I have been trying to find a way to see it again. I finally found it today, and I feel compelled to share it. It is a powerful story of what it means to find hope on Christmas morning.

4) Think about your blessings. When I hear this story, I can't help but be grateful for my family, safety, warm homes/cars/clothes, good food, a stable job, and all of those things I often take for granted. Finally, I am grateful for Longfellow's beautiful verses that capture so much truth:

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."