Angels from the realms of glory,
wing your flight o’er all the earth;
ye who sang creation’s story
now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
James Montgomery, a Scottish pastor wrote this hymn in 1816. It is considered by some to be one of the finest Christmas hymns. As a newspaper editor for over 30 years, Montgomery had the perfect platform to share his poetry…and beliefs. He spent time in prison for protesting slavery, boy chimney sweeps lot in life, and lotteries. This poem was set to music and carries a call to worship in response to the Christmas story.
This week, the first week of Advent we celebrated hope and looked at the story that sets the context for the common Christmas nativity story most are familiar with. We looked at Luke 1 through the eyes of Doctor Luke, not an apostle, who is writing up his research about Jesus. A not-pastor musician’s song for a not-Apostle’s story sounded ok for today. Angels play an important role in the Christmas story. Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, visited old Zechariah and his old barren wife Elizabeth to announce that they would become parents of John. John becomes known as John the Baptist. John is an important player in the life of Christ.
I suspect many of us feel like the background story people, not the real heroes but the backup cast. This week, though, highlights those often unnamed supporters as worthy of an angel visit. We are important support cast in God’s unfolding story. Our lives matter. That gives us hope as we face challenges and prepare for Christmas. Please enjoy the scope of this hymn as you prepare. Blessings.