WORLD PEACE

DAY 10

WORLD PEACE

The older I get, the more I desire for the truth to be told.  Many of the songs that we sing in church are at best incorrect and at worse downright heretical.  “Do You Hear What I Hear” is one such Christmas carol that is not quite correct.  The song progresses from the wind speaking to a lamb, the lamb speaking to the shepherd boy, the shepherd boy speaking to the king, and the king speaking to the people everywhere.  I can allow for artistic license with the wind and the lamb speaking.  But the shepherds did not take the message they received from the angels to the palace of the king.  They went to Bethlehem and found the Christ child.  You can read below the whole scriptural account of the shepherds in Luke’s gospel.

This song is also incorrect in its communication of the king’s response.  At a later time, when the magi from the east came in search for the one born king of the Jews, their first stop was at the king’s palace.  King Herod’s response to the birth of the Messiah was not quite what this song says.  He did not pray for peace rather he brought unrest.  He sought out the child to kill him and in fact he did kill all the children in Bethlehem that were two years and younger.  You can read the whole account of the magi’s visit and Herod’s response in Matthew 2:1-12.

This being said, the message of the king in this song is still a fitting one for this Advent season.

Said the king to the people everywhere,
“Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people, everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
The Child, the Child sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light

People speak a lot about peace at Christmas and, indeed, it is a fitting topic for this season.  But for many, I think, Christmas is simply a symbol of peace or the idea of peace.  Christ came to bring peace.  Peace, not simply being the cessation of strife in the world, but peace between God and man which is the cause of strife in the world.  Christ did not bring peace as something separate from himself.  He is the peace that he brought.  He paid for that peace with his very life.

In this Advent season, let us remember that the hope of peace in the world resides in Jesus Christ our Lord and in him only.

LUKE 2:8-21

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[d]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

 

Do You Hear What I Hear

Said the night wind to the little lamb,
“Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite.”

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
“Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea,
With a voice as big as the sea.”

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
“Do you know what I know?
In your palace walls, mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold–
Let us bring him silver and gold,
Let us bring him silver and gold.”

Said the king to the people everywhere,
“Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people, everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
The Child, the Child sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light,
He will bring us goodness and light

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