Friday, 14 December 2012

all is well...even when it isn't

In the Bahamas, it is very common to be asked, "All is well?"  And then you can nod and affirm, "All is well."  I love this.  It asks so much more than the usual, "How are you?" which people often quickly rush through with a "Fine, thanks...and you?" 

All is well with us.  Even though outwardly there is news we are not rejoicing over...  Keith's mom is being sent home from the hospital, possibly today, but not because she is all better.   Her leaking gallbladder issues are not going to be fixed by man's abilities.  Perhaps God will miraculously intervene and heal.  A nurse will be at the house on a daily basis to care for mom.  Chemo has ceased due to the gallbladder issues.  And her inner state?  All is well.  She knows the Savior.  She's walked with him all her life.

Last night at choir practice we rehearsed with gusto.  This little choir of 18 or so, singing to their fullest ability, was singing the praises of God as we reflect on Christ's nativity.  One of the songs we're singing is a modern, somewhat somber version of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."  I've only ever heard this song done the old way, Bing Crosby style.  But read the words and see their beauty:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
"There is no peace on earth," I said
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth good will to men."

But the bells are ringing, Peace on Earth
Like a choir they're singing, "Peace on Earth"
Does anybody hear them? "Peace on Earth...
Goodwill to men."

Then rang 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."

Then ringing, singing on its way
The night revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men."    poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In our presentation, this song will be packed in between a dramatic monologue of a modern-day believer questioning the world he sees around him.  This song is a bit veiled in it's gospel proclamation, but the truth is there in the next to last stanza.  "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.  The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth good will to men."  This is a summation of redemption's plan.  We find these words echoing the angels announcement to the shepherds in the field, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased."  Luke 2:14

Peace on earth, among those with whom God is pleased.  And with whom is He pleased?  All those who take refuge under the cross of His Son, Jesus.  All those who believe that salvation is found in Him alone.  It is with them that there is peace, with whom "All is Well." 

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