Monday, December 17, 2012

Peace on Earth

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I thought I'd share it with you today.

Sending my kiddos off to school this morning was harder than I expected. I told them I loved them and watched them walk down the sidewalk towards the school a little longer. My heart ached for the families affected by the terrible shooting last Friday. So many thoughts raced through my mind. The internet is obliterated with opinions on what we should do to keep this from happening again. The depression I had felt after the elections was back in full force. A feeling of hopelessness swept over me. The words from a famous Christmas song echoed in my head as I drove home.

 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

I don't want to argue gun control laws or tighter security at schools. Heaven knows the school in Connecticut was as good as you can get, but when evil is in force you cannot stop it. Maybe our teachers should be trained in combat and have a gun close by. But even then could you be certain that the perpetrator wouldn't gun down half the school by the time the trained teacher could reach them? You can't be certain that doing any of these things will keep crazy people from acting crazy. 

When I got home I turned on the news, something I hadn't done all weekend as I didn't want my kids to hear it. I cried again as I heard the childrens' names read  one by one. They were better than this world in many cases. It hits close to home. 

I have a six year old. She is special. She is full of love and kindness. I love all of my children, but even they would agree that she has an angel's heart. She reminds me of so many of the children that lost their lives.  She is amazing.  I often ask her where she came from? And she responds that she came from Heaven. And then I smile and laugh and say, "You're right. You came straight from Heaven" 

Those children and teachers who lost their lives lost them because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or were they? I'd like to believe that God knows them and knew what was about to happen and was there to welcome them home. That is why he took only the best. Yes, I want to hear about a miracle.  I want to wake up and discover that it was just a bad dream.But the reality is, it happened, as will more evil in the future if we don't change our ways. 

The scriptures say that in the last days "the hearts of men will turn cold." With all the deliberate shootings out there I can say that the idea of cold and unfeeling hearts is happening at a rampant pace and no amount of law reform is going to change that. There is only one who can soften the hearts of man. And that is the only thing I am sure of today. I know there is a God. I know His son Jesus Christ was there to take those children and teachers into His arms and welcome them home to that heaven in which He resides. I know that He has a plan for us, and If we will obey his commandments, and welcome him back into our lives, and into our schools, and into our states, and into our country, he will protect us in our time of need. But if we continue to shut Him out, deny His existence, refuse His name on our lips-- He will stay his hand. And our tardy cries will be in vein.

But the bells are ringing
Like a choir singing
Does anybody hear them?
Peace on earth, good will to men

In light of the tragedy, some wonder if they should take down their Christmas decorations. I say "NO!" 

Do not let the adversary win! Do not let hopelessness rule our dark days. 

Christ was not born in a mere stable and then crucified on a cross just so  we could refuse His comfort and hope  when we needed it the most. The reason for Christmas is to celebrate His coming. It causes us to sing loudly the hymns that through Him we can have peace again. That death is defeated and that we will be with our loved ones again.

I am then reminded of the rest of that beautiful Christmas song. I want to sing it loudly through my tears.

Then rang 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

Life is short. Our children our precious. I am so grateful for the five I have been blessed with. I am thankful for every day, even the hard days. But most of all I am grateful for the knowledge I have that God lives. That Jesus is the Christ. That even in the very darkest days we can find peace, hope, and yes, even, eventually, joy again. May each of you my friends have the love of Christ in your hearts this Christmas Season, and if you feel hopeless, please, take this time to turn to that creator that loves you and knows you by name and  wants to comfort you too.

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!

Merry Christmas