Originally written by Charles Wesley, ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ first appeared in print in 1739. The song as we know it went through revisions as verses were added, words were changed, and the current tune was assigned it – a tune written by Felix Mendelssohn.
“Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with men to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel”
These familiar words so beautifully carry such great truths! That little boy of Mary’s was God in human form! Jesus willingly came to this earth as our Emmanuel- our ‘God with us’. The next verse shows why…
“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.”
The first line in this grouping blows me away! Jesus loves each of us so much that he left the streets of heaven to be made a man. Stop and ponder that a moment. The glimpses we have of heaven through the visions of Isaiah and John show the angels, elders, and inhabitants of glory constantly and loudly praising God. Jesus willing left a place where he was treated and honored as he deserved to walk this earth knowing he would be hated, dishonored, and eventually killed.
“Mild he lays his glory by”- Mild- he did it like it was no big deal. Thank you my precious Jesus! His sacrifice as Wesley described saves men & women. Jesus was born so we would not die, so we would be raised, and given a second birth!
The more I contemplate the words of this song, one of the most famous of Christmas carols, the more my heart sings out-
“GLORY to the Newborn KING!”
As we go into this day, just one week from Christmas, have we paused to reflect on all Jesus gave up to be born in Bethlehem? We are saved from eternal separation from God because of the events of Easter morning. Yet Easter would never have happened had Jesus not been willing to leave heaven for us to be born on Christmas. Let us go forward this next week with praise on our lips and in our hearts for a God so full of love he would willingly give his all to save each one of us! What joy fills my heart to overflowing this morning! Amen!