Sunday, December 22, 2013

Peace on Earth - Christmas 2013

One of America’s best know poets, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, composed the words to “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” on December 25, 1864. Tragedy struck both the nation due to the Civil War and Longfellow when the dress of his wife, Frances, caught fire in July of 1861. As he sought to smother the flames by throwing his arms around his wife, Longfellow suffered severe burns to his face, arms, and hands. His wife, Frances, died one-day later. Then almost a year later, Longfellow received word that his son had been severely wounded in a Civil War battle fought on July 10, 1862.

So during the Christmas season of 1864, when a depressed and disheartened Longfellow heard church bells ringing, he felt compelled to write a poem with the title “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. His personal loses combined with the ongoing war between the states was a source of great inner turmoil with the church bell’s message of “peace of earth.”

In 2008, the contemporary Christian rock group  “Casting Crowns” founded by youth pastor Mark Hall performed this song on their Christmas album titled “Peace on Earth.” Here’s a video someone put together to help you experience Longfellow's poem put to music.

As a visitor to this blog from cities across the USA or from one of the more than 100 nations, I was wondering where you’re at in your life. As you celebrate the birth of Christ in your city / nation can you resonate with Longfellow’s internal struggle? Please leave your comment or write us at We’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for visiting the L2G Forum. May the Christ of Christmas fill Your heart with the peace that surpasses all human understanding.

Here are three alternative video presentations of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Just click on the blue text below:
  1. With scenes from the movie Fireproof.
  2. The Witness for Christ Ministries version.
  3. The Civil War Scenes version.

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