Hark the Herald Angels Sing “Glory to the Newborn King!”

The Greatest News Ever Given

The lyrics in the old Christmas carol pretty much sum up the story of Christmas: “Hark the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn king! Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.’” Because that’s how it’s described in the book of Luke, chapter 2 in the Bible.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby [Bethlehem], keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’” Luke 2:8-14

As we celebrate Christmas, today, exchanging and opening presents, eating wonderful homemade food and watching classic Christmas movies, let’s remember what this holiday is really all about – celebrating the birthday of Jesus, the Christ.

He was, in the slang of speaker Ken Poure, “God in a bod.” He came down from Heaven, made himself lower than the angels and took on the body of a human being, was born as a baby – not into earthly wealth or power, but to a holy, yet imperfect young, virgin woman and a carpenter, to whom she was engaged, and in a stable with domesticated animals looking on, then growing into adulthood, so he could be one of us.

Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, who the prophet Isaiah proclaimed 700 years before His birth, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”

However, He was not a political messiah as many sought in that day, to lead a revolt and rescue them from the rule of the Roman Empire, but rather a spiritual, eternal messiah whose kingdom will never end. What’s more important and lasting, something political or spiritual? Obviously, spiritual.

As a human, Jesus was able to communicate with us, show us how to live and love, and share with us God’s message of salvation, which He provided. Instead of the yearly sacrifice of the unblemished lamb, whose blood merely covered over the sins of the people, the unblemished, perfect Christ provided us the once-and-for-all sacrifice, eliminating our sin and defeating the power of death – ultimate, spiritual, eternal death – for those who choose to follow Him and accept Him as their Lord and Savior. He is our bridge to God the Father, who reached down into human history to offer us a way to have a relationship with Him, that had been broken off by the sin of Adam and Eve.

So, today, this Christmas day, I encourage you to read the story of the birth of Jesus, the Christ in Luke, chapter two. Then find a Bible-believing church to attend today to seek out others who understand and have experienced the true meaning of Christmas, found in Jesus, who came to give us hope; salvation from the degradation of sin in our lives – because we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God – the opportunity to have an abundant life, not just one of empty pursuit of pleasure and acquiring things; peace in our hearts; and to be with Him for eternity. Because unlike any other spiritual leader in history Jesus is the only way to God, as he proclaimed “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

And that is the way to have a truly, Merry Christmas!

Allen D. Payton, Publisher

Here are the words to the song that memorializes the most important herald that has ever been – the announcement by the angels of the birth of the Savior of the world, Jesus the Christ, the long-prophesied messiah, born in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago.  He was born to bridge the gap between humans and God, due to the sin in their lives, which breaks our fellowship and relationship with Him. This year, you can know the true meaning of Christmas by opening your heart to the message and reason for the season, the birth, perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Learn more by clicking here.  Enjoy the lyrics and song of “Hark the herald angels sing.”

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 the 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!"

To hear it sung, click here. 

"Hark the herald angels sing” Christmas Carol was written by Charles Wesley,
brother of John Wesley founder of the Methodist church, in 1739. A somber man,
he requested slow and solemn music for his lyrics and thus “Hark the herald
angels sing” was sung to a different tune initially. Over a hundred years
later Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) composed a cantata in 1840 to commemorate
Johann Gutenberg's invention of the printing press. English musician William
H. Cummings adapted Mendelssohn’s music to fit the lyrics of “Hark the herald
angels sing” already written by Wesley.

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