Originally Posted December 17, 2014 By Pastor Adam
One of my favorite Christmas carols is “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. While the original version is nice, I really love to hear the group Casting Crowns perform their rendition of this great song. For those of you who might not be familiar with this song, it deals with the issue of the bells ringing out on Christmas day, proclaiming peace to the world. But the writer saw this as a bit of a contradiction because there didn’t seem to be a lot of peace happening in the world at the time–the song is based on a poem that was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1863–the height of the Civil War. He was noticing that this obviously wasn’t a very peaceful time and, as I would imagine, how could they celebrate like it was. But as the song progresses, we find that even through the midst of this turmoil and tumult, God is still there, longing to bring the real peace through Jesus Christ to the world.
As I sit and write I think of all of the turmoil around the world that makes me, as the song, question the fact of whether there really is peace on earth. We only have to look into the neighborhoods and streets in our own cities and country to see that there are racial tensions that are boiling over. There are disease outbreaks all over the world–remember the Ebola outbreak? There are governments that are warring against other nations, people are fighting all over the place. Simply watching the world news is enough to make us question the notion of peace on the earth. But, as soon as I think of these terrible things, I am reminded that Jesus Christ is, as the prophet Isaiah says, our Prince of Peace. It just might not be the type of peace that we think. It is peace with God for all who believe in Him as Savior.
With all of that said, I’m still a believer in the notion of peace on earth. I sing because I know this is true. It might not be in our conflicts, for we live in a sinful world. But, Jesus came to make peace between us and God–and that peace will last for all eternity. Wow! What a blessed moment it is to realize that and understand that it is the reason we celebrate Christmas.