Aloha Friday Message – December 19, 2008

AFC121908

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was filled with sorrow at the tragic death of his wife in a fire in 1861. The Civil War broke out the same year, and it seemed this was an additional punishment. Two years later, Longfellow was again saddened to learn that his own son had been seriously wounded in the Army of the Potomac.

Sitting down to his desk, one Christmas Day, he heard the church bells ringing. It was in this setting that Longfellow wrote these lines:

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!”

— Pulpit Helps, 12-92, p. 23

What good is it the Christ was born?

“Meister Eckhart once said: What good is it that Christ was born 2,000 years ago if he is not born now in your heart?
“Lord, we do far too much celebrating your actual coming in our hearts. I believe in God, but do I believe in God-in-me? I believe in God in heaven, but do I believe in God-on-earth? I believe in God out there, but do I believe in God-with-us?” Remember, He is Emanuel, the Promised of Ages.

“Lord, be born in my heart. Come alive in me this Christmas! Amen.”

— LIVING FAITH, Vol. 4, # 3

The Work of Christmas Begins

“When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart.
And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way,
in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.”

— Howard Thurman, adapted

So my friends, my prayer for you this year, this Advent Season, is that Christ will be the center of your Christmas, and also that Christ will be the center of your Christianity. That was the message given by Bishop Larry Silva (Diocese of Honolulu) last Sunday. If all of us will begin 2009 committed to beginning and continuing The Work of Christmas, then we can be certain that our lives are centered on Him and our world – beginning with family and friends and extending throughout the nation, the continent, and the globe – will be all the better for it.

Have a wonderful week, Beloved. Look for our Christmas Letter sent to you by [email protected] in your e-mail on December 24. That will be in lieu of your Aloha Friday Card for Dec 26.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Type answer *

Pages Email Newsletter Categories Archives Connect