Monday, December 15, 2014

Wrong Shall Fail, Right Prevail

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 rolled 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 doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This poem was written way back in 1863 in the throes of the Civil War. If we didn't know better, we could imagine that the poem was written today. Over 150 years later, the message is still the same. The problem is still the same. The solution is still the same.

God is not dead, nor does He sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail.

This year, this Christmas, 2014, hearts are broken over the wrong prevailing in our world. Ferguson and Michael Brown, Eric Garner, ISIS. 

Hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, good-will to men.

These words so could have been written about our world, right now. 

As I walked today, I pondered this whole issue in front of us. Racism. Hatred. Justice. The internet is hollering, screaming at each of us with millions of opinions. Millions of accusations. Millions of solutions.

And in despair I bowed my head.

Yet, once again, it is Christmas time. It is the time when hope springs anew. Despite the hurt and the anger and the pain, we can hope.

Not because the solution is in us. It's not.

The solution is not protests. The solution is not more violence. The solution is not even conversation. 

Our hope for peace on earth rests solely in the fact that God is not dead. He does not sleep. 

The solution is Christ. The Prince of Peace. 

Christ did not bring peace through His birth either. He brought peace through His death.

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:20)

Peace will reign in the earth when Christ reigns.

Glorious light! see the dawn of Salvation:
Angels in white fill the skies with their wondrous song;
Awakening earth with news of His birth;
Join the hymn of the highest heavens!

Long has the world fought the song of the angels.
Heavenly music is drowned by a warring world;
Yet hope burns a light, that shatters the night;
Turn your heart to the call of glory!

Glory to God in the highest!
Peace to men on earth.
Come and adore Him with wonder -
Christ Lord of Heaven and earth.

There is a day all creation has longed for -
When all of time has been spent and the Lord returns;
His song we'll repeat as heaven completes;
Promised peace that will fill the nations!

-Keith Getty

There will always be war until Christ reigns. World peace will be sought after but will not be a reality. That is a Biblical theme.

But the hope of Christ's reign should affect our lives here and now. You and I, we can pray for peace. We can let the peace of God rule in our hearts. We can be instruments of peace. We can seek peace and pursue it. We can live at peace with all men.

Because we know the end of the story.

May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)