Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent Day Fifteen: rest beside the weary road

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men from heaven's all gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come, with peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats o'er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains they bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife the world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not the love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing.

 And ye beneath life's crushing load, whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on, by prophet bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years comes round the Age of Gold,
When peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendours fling
And the whole world give back the song which now the angels sing.



This beautiful carol reminds us that though the world is full of strife and violence, and though individuals struggle beneath heavy burdens, the song the angels sang on Christmas night is still meaningful and true.  God still longs to bring peace to our world and to our hearts -- and not only longs to, but has sent Jesus to make it possible.

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