The English have the 12 days of Christmas in song. The high churches have the 24 (ish) days of advent. Here at Crave Something More, I’ll be writing a series called the “21 Days of CSM Christmas.” Starting December 5 and finishing onChristmas Day, I will write once a day about all things Christmas, in the hopes that we will all continue to see Jesus as the greatest satisfaction to our soul’s deepest cravings.
Day 15: Hark!
I love hymns. And I love Christmas hymns. And it just seems odd that so many people hear these hymns without ever really truly listening to them. There is amazing truth, and rich theology, in many of our tradition’s greatest hymns.
One classic that we sang this past Sunday is Hark, The Herald Angels Sing. Charles Wesley, the prolific writers of hymns, originally wrote these words in 1739, but it wasn’t until 1855 that the lyrics were set to the music we know today. What I want to celebrate today is the beauty of the first stanza:
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!”
So what can we learn from Wesley this Christmas?
- The baby Jesus is to be heralded, an honor reserved for royals, though in this case, the humblest of Kings.
- The baby Jesus is due glory, glory “as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
- The baby Jesus is a vessel of peace—peace that makes rebellious men right with their God.
- The baby Jesus has a mission: reconciling God with sinners.
- The baby Jesus is to be the joy of all nations; not just one, not just some, but all nations will speak joyfully of their eternal King.
- The baby Jesus brings together all realms, so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
If God gives you the opportunity, tell someone Hark! this week. And tell them about this amazing baby Jesus, who came in humility, to deliver men from the bondage of their sin, so that people from every nation would joyfully live to bring Him glory.
For the rest of the 21 Days of Crave Something More Christmas, go here.