Hark the Herald Angels Sing!
Don't show up Sunday tired and worn out from the weekend. Start preparing today. Gathered worship will be far richer for you and for all at Trinity.
Hail the Heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! the herald angels sing:
“Glory to the newborn King!”
John’s Wesley’s original lyrics to the famous hymn that we know today “Hark the Herald Angels Sing!” erupted out of his reflection one day walking to church on Christmas morning in 1739 hearing the church bells in London toll. Later, reflecting on Luke 2:14, Wesley wondered, “What did those shepherds hear the angels sing in those fields between Bethlehem and Jerusalem so many years ago?” “What must they have thought?” “Did they understand all that was happening when they heard these words at first frozen in fear?” Peter says that when the gospel is preached by the power of the Holy Spirit, the angels crane their necks to look (1 Peter 1:12).
Why are we looking at a Christmas hymn this Advent? I can think of two reasons: 1) Our worldviews needs some stretching. Three times at the beginning of an account Luke writes to Theophilus, he mentions angels. That’s not the way a modern account to explain the gospel of Jesus Christ would start today. Modern apologetics involve evidence of presuppositions, science, natural law, etc. Angels don’t exactly count as witnesses in modern scholarly journals. But they did in the Ancient world, and perhaps we could us a dose of humility to consider things from their point of view and find ourselves better for it. 2) If you don’t disciple your children, then the world will. You’ll never keep pace. The song “Hark The Herald Angels Sings” has rich theology. Praise! Incarnation! Glory! Born again! Let us teach our children (and ourselves!) the depth of Christ’s gift and the extravagance of His love toward sinners like you and me. This hymn’s theology is a teaching tool. Sing it as a family and talk about the themes is brings out of Luke 2:8-14.
So, this Sunday, let's go back to the fields between Bethlehem and Jerusalem about 4BC, when the Angel appeared. Read Luke 2:8-14 prayerfully and carefully as you prepare your heart for worship.
Don't show up Sunday tired and worn out from the weekend. Start preparing today. Gathered worship will be far richer for you.