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A holiday message from the governor: I Heard the Bells
Guest column from Gov. Kristi Noem
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season are all the Christmas songs that we pass down from generation to generation. Some are silly and fun. Others reflect the more serious reason for the season.
This season is a time of celebration and reflection of many different faiths, with holidays like Hannukah and Kwanzaa. As a Christian, Christmas is a time for me and my family to reflect on our faith and the good news of Jesus’ birth.
My favorite Christmas song is “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” The song itself might remind us of the Christmas season. “Their old familiar carols play,” sounds an awful lot like those familiar Christmas songs playing on repeat (maybe even too many times).
But it’s a later verse that might most reflect the way that we all too often perceive the world:
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.”
When we look at the world around us, we may see a world full of anger and division. We may think that “hate is strong.” We may despair and say, “there is no peace on Earth.” But if we say that, then we are forgetting the miraculous reason for the season. We are forgetting that God came down to Earth to make peace with mankind – and to promise us eternal peace with him.
As the song says, “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.” He is here to bring us peace. And we can all emulate that by showing love and respect for our neighbors every single day.
Sometimes on Christmas, we get a brief glimpse of that heavenly peace. Remember the World War I soldiers who laid down their weapons and celebrated Christmas together in no man’s land. That day, “peace on Earth” was real. I hope we all can remember that spirit on more days than just Christmas – that we can bring a desire for peace to our daily lives.
This Christmas, let’s all remember to hear the bells. Peace on Earth – good will to men. Merry Christmas!
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