I was thinking about the crazy world we live in, and pondered, how can we have a Merry Christmas with all the uncertainty and evil around us? I’m reminded of one of my favorite carols. It is based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play;
In music sweet the tones repeat,
“There’s 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,
For Christ is here; His Spirit near
Brings peace on earth, good will to men.”
There’s a reason why the Bible repeatedly tells us to fix our eyes on Christ—because it’s the only way we can find peace and comfort. On one of my Frank Sinatra CDs, Sinatra quotes a child’s poem:
God is in His Heaven
All’s right with the world.
It sounds cute and trite, but I love it. Because if you really think about what it’s saying, it’s quite profound. God is in His Heaven—in control, watching over us, working all things for our good. God is in His Heaven, and He sent His Son to earth, to break the power of sin and the devil, and to conquer death. And that’s more than just for us and our salvation—Christ is Lord of all creation. One day, the effects of sin will be no more, and creation won’t be broken anymore. The church has a phrase that you hear now and then, “Already, but not yet.” For example, we are saved, we already have our salvation, but we do not yet experience it fully, we’re not in God’s presence, free from sin. In the same way, Christ has defeated the devil, but the devil still has some power here on earth. We still suffer the effects of his power, but we know that he’s fighting a lost battle. And so, yes, even right now, “All’s right with the world,” because the battle’s already been won and we’re just waiting for the day when Christ will come again and make it “now” instead of “not yet.”
As you look at the Christmas lights this year, take comfort in the promises of our faithful God in Heaven, who we can trust when He says, in Revelation 21, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)
God will never leave you nor forsake you, and He sent His Son to Earth to prove it.
–Rebecca Brown, SHM secretary