In December of 1941, Orson Wells took to the radio waves with a tribute to one of his favorite authors, G.K. Chesterton. Wells’ intent, however, was not just to pay homage to a friend and mentor, but rather to encourage his listening audience with a Christmas message that was both timely and inspiring: one that would rally an American nation reeling from the attack of Pearl Harbor just two weeks before. As Wells concluded his introductory comments he said, “And now, because we want our [Christmas] greeting to be timely, and very beautiful too, here’s the Chesterton poem I promised you.” christmas-fireplace-and-stockings

Today, as in 1941, western civilization stands stunned. It seems we face hatred and aggression that is both unwarranted and inexplicable. ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Bok Haram. North Korea, Iran, Ukraine and Syria. Evil even lurks at the edge of our own southern board as drug cartels amass graves in the same way that Hirohito made a Hawaiian harbor a grave for the masses.

In the face of such cold winds, perhaps the words of Chesterton are not only “timely” but also timeless. Perhaps, too are the words of Wells: “And now, because we want our Christmas greeting to be… very beautiful too, here’s the… poem I promised you.”


The Truce of Christmas
By G.K. Chesterton

Passionate peace is in the sky–
And in the snow in silver sealed
The beasts are perfect in the field,
And men seem men so suddenly–
(But take ten swords and ten times ten
And blow the bugle in praising men;
For we are for all men under the sun,
And they are against us every one;
And misers haggle and madmen clutch,
And there is peril in praising much.
And we have the terrible tongues uncurled
That praise the world to the sons of the world.)

The idle humble hill and wood
Are bowed upon the sacred birth,
And for one little hour the earth
Is lazy with the love of good–
(But ready are you, and ready am I,
If the battle blow and the guns go by;
For we are for all men under the sun,
And they are against us every one;
And the men that hate herd all together,
To pride and gold, and the great white feather
And the thing is graven in star and stone
That the men who love are all alone.)

Hunger is hard and time is tough,
But bless the beggars and kiss the kings,
For hope has broken the heart of things,
And nothing was ever praised enough.
(But bold the shield for a sudden swing
And point the sword when you praise a thing,
For we are for all men under the sun,
And they are against us every one;
And mime and merchant, thane and thrall
Hate us because we love them all;
Only till Christmastide go by
Passionate peace is in the sky.)

Talking Points With President Piper is a weekly column featured in the Examiner-Enterprise newspaper. In addition to serving as the Oklahoma Wesleyan President, Dr. Everett Piper is also a frequent guest commentator on a variety of talk radio programs across the nation, as well as a published author and essayist.

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