Wednesday, December 19, 2012

And Hear the Angels Sing

A Plea from 1849

Edmund H. Sears (1810-1876), a Unitarian minister, wrote a 5-stanza poem titled, "Peace on Earth." It became the popular carol, "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear." In his poem, he expressed a longing for the day when peace and goodwill would envelop the world. He wrote:
Verse 3
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!

Verse 4
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!

A Call to Action ~ Christmas 2012 (and every year thereafter)
1) Perhaps flash-choirs could gather at the home of every House and Senate person in every state/province/district of their Union this Christmas Eve and peacefully sing one or two carols, ending with these two unfamiliar verses of  "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear." (Sing these two verses with some distinctive emphasis to make clear to our "men [and women] of stife" that it is time to "hush the noise" and "hear the angels sing.")

2) Incorporate more fully into Christmas-giving the ideas of Matthew 25:35-6, 40:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. ... Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
For ideas, you can read the story, "Loving the Savior: Our Christmas Key" by Esther Jane Ward.*

An Every-Morning Devotional
Merry Christmas 1980 [Happy New Year 2013]
by Howard Thurmas

When the song of the angel is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins;

To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart …

(Howard Thurmas, from a Quaker calendar)
(New Era, Dec. 1980, 51)**

* "Loving the Savior: Our Christmas Key" by Esther Jane Ward, Ensign/December 1980, p. 49 (Item # 4 in the section titled "Sharing"}at