I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

This time of year, it becomes obvious that many of us don’t remember much more than the first verse of most Christmas Carols. As we lead up to Christmas this week, I want to explore some powerful verses in some of my favorite carols.

On April 8, 1966, the Time magazine cover asked, “Is God Dead?” In a world where we have a telescope in space looking to the far reaches of the universe and using the Hadron Collider to try to find the “God particle”, many people wonder if there is a need for God in order to explain the creation of the universe and our existence. They see God only as an uneducated person’s explanation of the universe instead of a diety involved in our lives.

When we reduce God to just an explanation of creation, we allow Him to be seen as of no use and dead to society. When bad things happen in our culture, people always ask, “Where is God? Why did He allow that to happen?” But when we fail to put logs on a fire, we don’t ask, “Where is the heat? Why are we being allowed to freeze?” We can’t kick God out of our culture, schools, and government then ask where He is when bad things happen.

He sent His Son into the world to bring life and light into our darkness. John 1:4-5 says, “The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (NLT). He was sent to right the wrongs of sin and to chase away the darkness that it brought. The star above the stable was representative of what He was doing. He was sending light into our world that will lead us to salvation.

There is a Christmas Carol called “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day”. It’s very powerful and moving. Here’s the verse that stands out to me:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail

With peace on earth, good will to men.”

God is not dead, nor is He simply an explanation for our very being. He is a loving God who is involved in our daily lives. We were created with purpose and our lives have meaning. To think there is no God and that we are simply here by random chance is to say there is no right or wrong and that life has no meaning. God sent His Son to us to show us that we matter. He sent Him to show He cares about our struggles mentally, physically, and spiritually. He came to right the wrongs, to bring peace on earth, and goodwill to men. 


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3 responses to “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

  1. Lori C.

    My favorite Christmas carol! There have been some lonely Christmases that these words have helped me pull through.

    I wonder, though, about the phrase “When we reduce God to just an explanation of creation. . .” It seems in Genesis that God originally intended a world where that was precisely all He was – the Creator. Without Man’s rejection of God through original sin, their was no need for a Savior, no reason for Christ’s incarnation, no thought or word of needing a Sacrifice.

    Is God really only good if he’s “of use to society?” The choice to honor God simply because He is our Creator was the choice of Adam and Eve. They failed him in that choice. I would hope we learn from that and respect God, even if we get nothing out of it.

    But we do get something out of it. In His tremendous power he could have started over again without the original humans; but in his overwhelming mercy, He provided a (excruciating) way for the current mankind to be redeemed. To me, The Book of Genesis is what makes Luke chapter two necessary and beautiful.

    (My inner dialogue here isn’t intended to offend. Your words made me think. Thank you!)

    Merry Christmas!

    • Thank you, Lori. The article I referenced was saying that theologists no longer had a need for God since science has no need for a creator. They were saying that with all the advances in modern technology, God was dead because He was useless. I wrote, “When we reduce God to just an explanation…” To show that He is more.

      On the Genesis account, I believe there was more to just Him being a creator before the fall. In Genesis 1:26, He said, “Let us make man in our image.” We were made to be like Him and to have dominion over the earth. Our lives had purpose from the beginning. When I look at verse 28 in the Amplified, I see something else. It says, “And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.”
      What I see is that our lives are to be in His service which means He wanted to be more than just a creator. He wanted to be our provider. Since the beginning, He has been our Jehovah Jireh. He provided creation for us to enjoy, then He provided Jesus to build the bridge back to Him. I think God still wants to be that today. Provider of life, provider of our needs, provider of spiritual healing, and provider of heirship.

      • Lori C.

        Thank you for the thoughtful response! I didn’t realize you were combating the belief that God created the universe then separated Himself from it completely. In my mind, I never make something to abandon it. I either keep it or destroy it. That would explain why I always dismissed that article and its descendants as ridiculous without bothering to think of counter arguments.

        I see what you’re saying about God intending to be more than our Creator. It seems that Creator means much more to me than the dictionary definition. I’ll have to change the way I converse about the subject.

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