It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
During this Christmas season, this particular picture keeps coming to mind when I sit down to practice on my harmonica the majestically peaceful melody of “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.” The skies were certainly clear, that cold, wintry night in Glacier National Park, and it was well-nigh close to midnight too, as I remember how bitterly tired I was. But I knew that being in the snow-covered Rockies under a full moon was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so after the tents were set up, the campfire put out, and the rest of the family hidden away in their sleeping bags, I slipped out with my tripod to wander through the campground full of silent campers and tents in search for what wonders in solemn stillness lay. It felt all the world like walking in a Christmas card.
That one shot from Montana got me thinking of other shots I’d taken around midnight. This one, from the Michigan Northwoods, reminds me a lot of Psalm 19:
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth His handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night
sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language
where their voice is not heard.”
Whether it’s the melody of a song or a capture of God’s incredible creation, may they always point us to the universal truth that:
Lo! the days are hastening on,
by prophet seen of old,
when with the ever-circling years
shall come the time foretold
when peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splendors fling,
and the whole world send back the song
which now the angels sing.