Saturday, December 19, 2015

December 19, 2015: Christmas Bells

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 352  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a video of Burl Ives singing and old Christmas carol … I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day, originally penned in 1864 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, proclaiming the victory of the joy of Christmas over all the despair caused by wars in this world.

Highlight Passage:   Luke 2: 11 [NKJV] …  
11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 
… His birth rang true for the world in spite of the death knell of sin.
Highlight Context – Luke 2: 8-14 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  …  
… The joy of that first Christmas morning will ring true FOREVER.

Reference Passage #1 - Isaiah 9: 6-7 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… 700+ years before it happened the bells rang the truth of the birth of our King, Jesus.

Reference Passage #2 - John 16:33 [NKJV] …   
33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[a] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” 
… Yes, the world will produce darkness; but Christ’s light has overcome the darkness of the world.

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Tim Gustafson, wrote about one of our great American poets, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who in 1864, after losing his wife in a tragic fire and having his first son critically wounded in the Civil War, penned a poem entitled Christmas Bells, written below in seven stanzas.

I HEARD the bells on Christmas Day … Their old, familiar carols play, … And wild and sweet … The words repeat … Of peace on earth, good-will to men! 
And thought how, as the day had come, …The belfries of all Christendom … Had rung so along … The unbroken song … Of peace on earth, good-will to men! 
Till 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! 
Then from each black, accursed mouth … The cannon thundered in the South, … And with the sound … The carols drowned … Of peace on earth, good-will to men! 
It was as if an earthquake rent … The hearth-stones of a continent, … And made forlorn … The households born … Of 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!" 
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, good-will to men.”

And if you hear the more common Christmas carol, linked and sung by Burl Ives (see above), you’ll note that three of the verses [in BOLD above} have been omitted in the more modern version of our carol, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. The primary reason for this omission is Longfellow’s reference to the Civil War.

However, the primary message for Longfellow’s hymn remains; and that is the truth that God, in the form of Jesus Christ, rang the bells of truth at His incarnation, … overcoming the ills of horrors like war, and even defeating death as the bells of Christmas truth rang in the good news of Gospel, … even unto the cross, where we heard the ultimate message of … “peace on earth, good will to men!”

So, when you hear a bell ringing during this season, realize the truth of Christ’s words to His Disciples in John 16:33 (above) … that we will have tribulations, like the warring we see in this world, … but Christ came and His Christmas bells have overcome the world forevermore!!!

My Prayer Today:  Heavenly Father, … Your Christmas bells ring in my heart, Lord, forever. … HALLELUJAH!!! … Amen  

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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