Hark the Herald Angels Sing

PEACE.  “Hark the Herald Angels Sing, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw38pGhPXIk) is one of those “ole Christmas carols” we sing at this time of the year.  It highlights he angels message at the time of the birth of the Christ child – peace on earth. 

Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace to men on

Whom his favor rests.  Luke 2:14

The lyrics to this familiar song were written by Charles Wesley in 1739.  George Whitefield modified the words slightly so that both of these founding fathers of Methodism are given credit for this carol.  Interestingly, Felix Mendelssohn wrote the melody a hundred years later.  “Wesley envisioned the song being sung to the same tune as his Easter song “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.”  William H. Cummings spruced up Mendelssohn’s tune and we have our song today.

         As we finish week 2 of Advent, may I encourage you to read the words of this hymn.  We find peace when we realize God walks through our trials with us like Joseph of old.  We find peace in praise as music draws together and clarifies like Mary and the Magnificat or Zechariah’s song.  We find peace as we confess and receive forgiveness and reconciliation as Mark through John the Baptist challenged us.  And John tells us that then we have to power to become the children of God we were designed to be, each unique and purposeful.  This hymn sums it up in the closing lyrics, “Gory to the newborn King!”

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With th’angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored,
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a 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 newborn King!”

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!”

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