I heard the bells on Christmas day is a civil war hymn. Forgotten stanzas 4 and 5 refer to the despair of brother fighting brother and hate between Christians and those who should be friends. Read the lyrics, and make the application to our time today, when the enemy and his human minions are working overtime to divide us.
The answer always is faith which remembers the justice of God.
Dear Lord, you have told us, Vengeance is yours, you will repay. Protect us from those who would feed the hate which so easily tempts us. Make us your children indeed, light in this troubled world. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen
Johnny Cash and June Carter - I heard the bells on Christmas Day
1 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. 2 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. 3 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. (Forgotten Stanza 4) 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. (Forgotten Stanza 5) 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. 6 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." 7 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."
Historical Note: This hymn was written during the American civil war, as reflected by the sense of despair in the next to last stanza. Stanzas 4-5 speak of the battle, and are usually omitted from hymnals: