I find it unusual that the words of this often favorite Christmas Song, written in 1858 by Edmund Hamilton Sears, still hold true today. I also find it interesting that the song does not mention anything about the birth of Christ...only an Angelic request for peace on earth.
Today, when so many people want to remove ‘Merry Christmas” from the Christmas season and replace it with “Happy Holidays”, a rather generic catch phrase, I find it troubling at the very least. Christ is what Christmas is all about…not a non-descript generic holiday greeting that could refer to any holiday.
It seems to me that if the world would “lay in solemn stillness” they just might begin to hear the voice of God or at the very least begin to sense his presence. The second verse of this song speaks of peaceful wings unfurled and the heavenly music floats all o’er the weary world. It doesn’t take much to realize just how weary our world is today. I’ve been weary about events in my own little world. But, I’ve also experienced the peace the Angels sing about. Oh what would the world be like if everyone heard the angels sing on high…Peace on Earth, goodwill to men! Understanding that this request comes from heavens all gracious King, and delivered by his messengers, the angels, it seems to me that everyone would want to say “Merry Christmas” with a renewed spirit.
There is a stanza from this song that is usually omitted from most hymnals…but one that is so fitting for today’s weary world.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife|The world hath suffered Long|
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled|Two thousand years of wrong|
And men, at war with man, hears not|The love song which they bring|
Oh hush the noise, ye men of strife,|And hear the angels sing!
Christmas is a time of Peace…the words “Merry Christmas” speak about what all men should instinctively know but oh so often fail to see. When the Angels speak of Peace on Earth…it is a Peace that surpasses all understanding.
One day all strife will end for all believers. We will all hear the Angels sing…and I’ll bet we’ll join in praising our Father who sent his son on that first ‘Merry Christmas’…a son whose mission was to bring peace to all. Until his return, lets continue to speak those two simple words...not just as words, but from our hearts about a Peace on Earth that is to come…and someday…everyone will hear the angels sing on another midnight clear.