Goodness and Light

We long for peace. This time of year more than ever, we want peace. I came across a book recently with a chapter about the song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” The song is a plea for peace.

Noel Regney is the artist who wrote it during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Noel had lived in France and served in WWII. He hated war and wanted to see peace. His wife, who wrote the music, said they feared a nuclear war at that time and everyone was praying and hoping for peace.

One night when Regney was coming home he was troubled about the possibility of more war and saw two mothers pushing their babies in strollers. He said in that moment he wanted war out of his mind so he began writing the words to the song. What came out was a story about Peace coming to earth on the first Christmas night.

Regney has said his favorite line is “Pray for peace, people everywhere!” I love the song and I love the story of how it came about. He wanted peace and by the end of the song he realizes it can only come in one way:

The child, the child, sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light

That was in 1962 and I don’t believe much has changed. We still pray for peace. We still pray for peace for people everywhere. I think a lot of people are looking for peace in the ending of war, poverty, and hate crime. Circumstances on earth will undoubtedly lack peace, but God has a solution to our desire for peace. He sent His son, Prince of Peace, to be the Savior of the world.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end…
-Isaiah 9:6-7
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
-Luke 2:14
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
-1 John 4:14

I am in awe of those facts. In Him we have peace and there will be no end. No end to peace. Peace that is forever. If we believe those words, if we believe His promises, peace is inevitable in our eternal future. We are promised peace when we believe in Him and rest in His faithfulness.

That baby boy that Noel Regney was writing about is the Light promised to us.

 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
-John 1:9
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
-John 8:12

We want peace. He gives peace. And of His peace there is no end.

“Truly He taught us to love one another. His law is love and His gospel is peace.”

Born to Set Thy People Free

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As we prepare our hearts for Christmas, for the promise of a Savior, I can think of no better hymn:

Come Thou long expected Jesus

Born to set Thy people free

From our fears and sins release us

Let us find our rest in Thee

Israel’s strength and consolation

Hope of all the earth Thou art

Dear desire of every nation

Joy of every longing heart

Joy to those who long to see Thee

Day-spring from on high appear

Come thou promised Rod of Jesse

Of Thy birth we long to hear

O’er the hills the angels singing

News glad tidings of a birth

Go to him your praises bringing

Christ the Lord has come to earth

Come to earth to taste our sadness

He whose glories knew no end

By his life he brings us gladness

Our Redeemer Shepherd Friend

Leaving riches without number

Born within a cattle stall

This the everlasting wonder

Christ was born Lord of all

Born Thy people to deliver

Born a child and yet a King

Born to reign in us forever

Now Thy gracious kingdom bring

By Thine own eternal spirit

Rule in all our hearts alone

By Thine all sufficient merit

Raise us to Thy glorious throne

-Charles Wesley

I love this video done by the Skit Guys (song by Marcy Priest):

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

-1 Peter 1:8-13 (emphasis mine)

Jesus our King came. We wait eagerly for His return. Come Thou long expected Jesus.