The Only True Hope

I was thinking about Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s request for a moment of silence on Friday to be followed by churches ringing their bells 26 times in honor of the victims of the recent school shooting, and it reminded me of a the poem by Longfellow I heard again recently, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day written at a despairing time when his own son’s life was nearly ended by gunfire:

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 the earth, good-will to men.”

We have no greater hope than this, that God’s goodness will prevail, justice will ultimately be had and there will be hope and healing in the next life if not in this one. If death is the end, then there is no final justice, or comfort or peace – only in the eternal hope of the Gospel is there any real hope that what has gone so tragically wrong can be made right.


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