In darkened times there’s a lot more to a “Merry Christmas” or the celebration of it, than words and actions filled with empty sentiment. The origins of these words and the goodwill it proclaims, comes from a light not lit by human imagination. Nor are they the ignorant consolations of inappropriate and intoxicated merriment.
To say them is to act in true freedom; it is an act of gratitude, unity and prayer. An act that is transformed into a ‘revolt against the disorder of the world.’ (Karl Barth)
In deep grief and reflective desolation, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) wrote these words:
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.”
This year and those to come, may we also continue to hear and recognise, what he heard and recognised.