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Friday, December 16, 2016

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Throughout the month of December, there are not too many places you can go without hearing Christmas music. Popular Christmas songs and carols fill the air at shopping malls. Radio stations play them with more and more frequency as Christmas day gets closer. Churches begin adding Christmas songs to their worship services. The songs of Christmas have a special way of bringing about holiday cheer.

Some of the most familiar Christmas carols, such as Silent Night, O Holy Night, and Joy to the World, reflect the glory, joy and peace that the birth of Jesus brought to the earthThe words and music remind us of God’s great love and mercy that was clearly shown by allowing His Son, Jesus, to be born in Bethlehem as a tiny, helpless baby who would grow up to be the Savior of the world.

One of my favorite carols is Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, perhaps because it is very clear in its message of salvation, with lyrics such as,

God and sinners reconciled.

and,

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.

These words clearly speak of the reason that Jesus came to earth. He was born to bring salvation to fallen man, to restore man’s relationship with the Father, and to give man eternal life with Him and the Father in heaven.

In the original lyrics to this song, written in 1739 by Charles Wesley, the message of salvation is even more evident in some of the final verses, which are no longer included in the carol that we know and love today:

Come, Desire of Nations, come, fix in us thy humble Home,
Rise, the Woman's Conqu'ring Seed, bruise in us the Serpent's Head.
Now display thy saving Pow'r, ruin'd Nature now restore,
Now in Mystic Union join, Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

Adam's Likeness, LORD, efface, stamp thy Image in its Place,
Second Adam from above, reinstate us in thy Love.
Let us Thee, tho' lost, regain, Thee, the Life, the Inner Man:
O! to All Thyself impart, form'd in each Believing Heart.

Christmas is all about God’s great love for us and the salvation that He has provided through His Son, Jesus (John 3:16). As we celebrate His glorious birth this Christmas, let us not forget the reason that He came—to restore our relationship with our Creator by taking our sins upon Himself through His death on the cross of Calvary.

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