Saturday, March 17, 2018

Christmas Devotion: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

As a way of saying “Thank You” for your partnership and friendship, Heart of God International is sharing with you a Christmas Meditation based on a different Christmas Carol each morning from now until Christmas Day.  We pray you will be blessed as you enjoy a few minutes of reflection during this busy season of celebration and remembrance! God bless you this Christmas!

The Good News  

So many of the old traditional Christmas carols have such depth and truth in the lyrics. Many explain in a few short words the Gospel message which begins with the Good News pronounced by angels that glorious night so many years ago.    

In the lyrics of “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” Charles Wesley profoundly presented the awesome revelation of the Reason for this Season … the Son of Righteousness. Take a moment to read through the lyrics; I’m sure you’ll hear the classic music accompanying your thoughts as you do:

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing


Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!

Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the Virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell;
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the new-born King!

  Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all He brings,
Risen 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 new-born King!

It is interesting to note that during this season, people sing and speak of “Peace” when, in fact, there is no peace on this earth … no cease-fires, no halt to the threats of terrorism, no end to hatred and crime.  But, as Wesley wrote, it’s the Prince of Peace who came to bring us peace with God, hence the phrase, “God and sinners reconciled“.

Mankind (our flesh, to be precise) is essentially at war against God; we are born of corruptible flesh.  We have sinned against Him, broken His commandments, and made ourselves resistant toward His merciful love.  That’s why the Father sent His Son–to reconcile us to Him by paying the penalty for our sin and becoming the Sacrifice Lamb, shedding His pure and perfect blood so we can be made righteous in His righteousness.  “We owed a debt we could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe!”

Read carefully through the lyrics of this song once again and let them speak to you of the most precious Gift ever given mankind-the Godhead veiled in flesh, the Incarnate Deity, Jesus, our Emmanuel.

This Christmas as we sing the traditional carols and hymns, let’s not forget these words.  Let’s use them to open the door to share with those who may not know Christ, the Everlasting Lord.  Everywhere you go, proclaim His birth; a good place to start is by simply sharing the words to this song. What greater gift could you give anyone?


Father, as I reflect on this song I am so vividly reminded of Who You are and what You have done.  Let my voice join with the angelic choirs proclaiming Jesus, my Emmanuel … amen!


“But unto you that fear my name shall the
Sun of righteousness arise
with healing in his wings.”
(Malachi 4:2a)



© Jan Ross

All Rights Reserved

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” is a Christmas carol that first appeared in 1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems, having been written by Charles Wesley. A somber man, Wesley had requested and received slow and solemn music for his lyrics, not the joyful tune expected today. Moreover, Wesley’s original opening couplet is “Hark! how all the welkin rings / Glory to the King of Kings”.bThe popular version is the result of alterations by various hands, notably by Wesley’s co-worker George Whitefield who changed the opening couplet to the familiar one, and by Felix Mendelssohn. A hundred years after the publication of Hymns and Sacred Poems, in 1840, Mendelssohn composed a cantata to commemorate Johann Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, and it is music from this cantata, adapted by the English musician William H. Cummings to fit the lyrics of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, that propels the carol known today. (!_The_Herald_Angels_Sing)


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