Saturday, December 16: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
Imagine Norah O’Donnell on CBS News leading with the teaser:
“‘Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled’.
More after this brief message.”
Every day we are bombarded with messages, commercial, political, personal, true, false… How would we respond to this momentous news? Would Social Media explode with viral messages and videos? How do we filter these to remember the important things and forget the flotsam?
This message in the Angel Herald on that long-ago night didn’t spread very quickly, but it is certainly “viral.” More than 2000 years later, many still haven’t heard the message or have chosen to ignore it.
Christmas is a joyous time of year, with many celebratory traditions to reinforce the message “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”. Music, like this carol, is probably the most effective of these traditions. Easy to remember and pass to others, carols carry the message in a way that does not require a Twitter feed, Facebook, or even Snapchat! We as Christians have a responsibility to spread this news. After all, what is more earth-shattering than God becoming Man, and offering salvation to all of mankind?
Many times I have heard this carol; I have sung it many times, but have I really paid attention to the words and the message? Have you?
When I hear this now, I can’t help but question the facts relayed in this news article, as I question most news articles. God made man! Incredible! Would an all-powerful Creator God lower himself to my level? Preposterous!
Yet, my faith allows me, indeed, forces me, to believe that Jesus came to earth on that long-ago night. “Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth”. We may not know all the circumstances. Was it winter or was it summer? Was it 2 am or 2 pm? These details are unimportant; what is important is the message. “Hark! The herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn King!'”