This month we will be looking at Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. This hymn was written in 1739 by Charles Wesley. Charles was a prolific hymn writer. He is credited with writing over 6,000 hymns! Another one of his famous works is Christ the Lord is Risen Today. This hymn is very beautiful and never fails to give me goosebumps but if you look closer at the lyrics it makes this hymn even more powerful.
The first verse starts by telling us to stop and listen because the angels are singing. The immediate question is what are they singing about? Well, the verse wastes little time and immediately tells us that they are singing the praises of Jesus and that God and man are reconciled. The long-awaited Messiah has finally come to do what only He can do and that is to reconcile God and man. This is deeply rooted in scripture, and we can see it in 1 Timothy 2:5-6 which says “5 For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.” If it weren’t for Jesus we would be bound to our sin and be destined to spend eternity in hell but because of His sacrifice we know that we are saved by grace, through faith because of what he did on the cross. The Hymn then goes on to tell us that everyone on earth should praise His name and join the angels in singing that Christ was born in Bethlehem. Jesus died for everyone so all people should praise His name! Once again, we see that this is a scriptural truth in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 which says “14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
The second and third verse go on to explain that Christ is everlasting and that He was born to a virgin. This was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 which says “14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you[a] a sign: The virgin[b] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[c] will call him Immanuel.[d]” The verse then goes on to talk about how Jesus was both God and man and He dwelled with us on earth and says that Jesus is our Immanuel which means God with us which is also in Isaiah 7:14. The third and final verse talks about what Christ came to do on earth. He came to die on the cross, rise from the dead, forgive us of our sins, and give us eternal life in heaven.
This hymn is truly powerful. The melody is beautiful, and the words are powerful. This hymn is a great representation of what the Christmas season should be about. I pray that you all have a wonderful Christmas season.
In Christ Alone
Aaron Finkel, DCE
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