Peace on Earth, Good Will To Men

This is has been a stressful year for Anna and me but also one filled with great joy.   We have had quite a roller coaster ride of emotions with the death of a beloved 40 year friend on January 1, to the joy of moving our residence to another town, to finding ourselves in a situation, quite out of our control, portending danger for our family.   We have rejoiced in the safety of our local faith community receiving inspiration to do the work with which we have been called by God.  We have also despaired in the political climate in our country.   It seems faith and politics have merged into some kind of ugly, blurry, life style that causes great concern in our family.  xmas angel 2018

Each year at Christmas Anna and I design a Christmas card to send to people on our Christmas list.   As we thought this year about what we would like to announce, we drew inspiration from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem:

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
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!”

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.”

 

As I read the poem I also remember the angels, in the Christmas story, proclaiming  “Peace on earth and good will to men…”

Thus my illustration of the Angel and our wish for  you – “ Peace on earth, good-will to men.”

My Sketchbook – Cuba visit

Last month my wife and I had the opportunity to visit the country of Cuba with colleagues from the NC Baptist Singers and Orchestra.   We enjoyed our time with the lovely people who made us feel as if we were “rock stars.”   A beautiful country of mountains and sea; nothing like I anticipated.   Thanks to interpreters we were able to communicate, enjoy home cooked food, and make friends with the kind people of Cuba.

cuba 1

One evening at Sunset a large thunder storm moved into the area.   This is from a roof top viewing the beautiful sky as the storm arrived.

cuba 2

One day we visited a retirement home for Christian workers.  This is the lovely chapel at the retirement home near Santiago City.

cuba 3

I saw this guy enjoying lunch on the side of the road.