Do You Hear What I Hear?
“Said the king to the people everywhere, ‘Listen to what I say! Pray for peace, people, everywhere, Listen to what I say! The Child, the Child sleeping in the night He will bring us goodness and light, He will bring us goodness and light.’”
This song is an example of the game of telephone… one person tells another who tells another who tells another. When the message reaches the king he issues a proclamation. The king’s message is a directive to pray for peace.
We sang this popular Christmas carol in our high school choir. It has a catchy tune and easy lyrics. Little did I know that it originated at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. The authors, Noel Regney and Gloria Shane Baker, had written songs together before. Usually, Gloria would have the lyrics and Noel would compose the music. This time, Noel was inspired with the lyrics, and Gloria supplied the music.
The song asks three questions: “Do you see what I see?” “Do you hear what I hear?” and “Do you know what I know?” What I see is a star; what I hear is a song; and what I know is a child. The lyrics shift to “Listen to what I say” with “Pray for peace people, everywhere, listen to what I say.” The Cuban Missile Crisis was a time of threatening nuclear war in our country.
We are not living with the same threat today. Yet, we do need peace on earth and goodwill to flow among persons and nations. As we watch, listen, and learn in this holiday season, let us remember to pray for peace.
Scripture invites us: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. 7 ‘May peace be within your walls, And prosperity within your palaces.’ 8 For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, ‘May peace be within you.’ 9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.” (Psalm 122:6-9 NASB)
Prayer: O God, help us to be attentive to what we see, what we hear, what we know, and what we proclaim. Grant us peace, O God. We pray for peace. Let there be peace in our hearts, our homes, our neighborhoods, our cities, our country, and our world. Amen.