Advent: The Time Foretold

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 heav’n’s all gracious King!”

The world in solemn stillness lay, to 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:

O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing.

For lo, the days are hast’ning on, by prophets seen of old,

When with the ever-circling years, shall come the time foretold,

When peace shall over all the earth, its ancient splendors fling,

And the whole world send back the song, which now the angels sing.

Edmund Sears

Hope arrived the first Christmas night.  Peace came to earth. 

And yet, today hope sank and peace was squeezed to small and nearly unidentifiable places. 

Our hearts live in divided territory.  We sing “Peace on earth, goodwill to men,” while we war in our hearts and minds.   We affirm that Christ is our “gracious King,” as we pass judgment on one another. 

Why is it that the precious gift we received that first Christmas is so hard for us to pass along to one another in word, deed, and thought? 

I’m resting this evening beside the weary road and straining my ears to hear the song of peace and goodwill that continues to float.  For I know there will be another glorious night “when peace over all the earth, its ancient splendors fling.” 

Are your steps painful and slow today?  Listen for the song of hope.  The time foretold will appear yet again!

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