Friday, December 05, 2014

Sing Christmas Dec 5

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, good will 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 over its Babel sounds
The bless├Ęd 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.

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 send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

 Edmund Hamilton Sears 1810 -1876

Written by a Unitarian minister in Wayland, Massachusetts, this carol speaks of God’s peace coming to the world. Sears imagines angels singing not just to the shepherds, but to the whole world, announcing a new way of peace to any who will listen to it.

The carol was written twelve years before the U.S. Civil war in 1861. Perhaps Sears was aware of mounting tension? This is certainly a carol tinged with sadness at the way in which “men of strife” (and women too) so often fail to hear God’s voice. The future, implies this carol, is in our hands. God, in Christ, has given us what we need to live in peace. It is up to us whether we use his gift wisely.

·         Are you hopeful for the world? What are your worries for it?
·         “Hush the noise, ye men of strife” – What is the “noise” you might need to “hush” in your life?

Bible Reading: For a child has been born for us, a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually,    and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. Isaiah 9.6-7


  1. Molehil10:09 am

    Thank you Anne for including this, one of my favourites - played at full volume, this has been the perfect start to a busy day!

  2. You'd mentioned it was your favourite, so I hoped it would brighten your day today!