brrrr, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Scott’s photostream

Tomorrow, some two billion Christians around the world–and here in Pittsburgh–will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and his teachings of brotherhood and peace. During this holiday season, believers and non believers alike can take hope in the closing line of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Christmas Bells: “With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Let us all strive to create accord where there is division, to fill our hearts with compassion for both friends and strangers, and to continue to make our city a welcoming place for all.

May your tomorrow be filled with hope and light and love.

The Trek, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Robert Hruzek’s photostream

CHRISTMAS BELLS
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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.”