Glory to the Newborn King

One of my favorite Christmas hymns, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” was written by Charles Wesley during a time when there was a scarcity of Christmas songs of any kind. Christmas carols, as we know them, had been prohibited by the English Puritan parliament in 1627 because they were thought to be worldly and contributed to a wrong understanding of the Christmas season. So in a day very much like our own, where the true meaning of Christmas has been all but lost, Wesley invites believers from all over the world to proclaim the truths surrounding our Savior’s birth with the following words, “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 angelic host proclaim, "Christ is born in Bethlehem! Hark the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn king!'”

What kind of memories does the singing of that song bring back for you? Have you reflected on the meaning of the words of this great hymn which speak of the virgin birth, the deity of Jesus and the transforming power of Christ in the lives of all those who believe? To sing this great hymn of the faith, while reflecting upon its meaning, is to align ourselves with our true purpose in life as ambassadors for Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). During the season of Advent we have a special opportunity to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, not only that He has been born a child in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago, but that Jesus is coming again very soon to claim those who belong to Him and to sentence those who have rejected His offer of eternal life. 

For the most part, the people in our world move along in life oblivious to the fact that they are moving ever closer to a cataclysmic life event. Unlike the many calamities the media warn us about that never materialize, the Second Coming of Christ is both certain and imminent. Jesus offers sound counsel to His disciples while sitting on the Mount of Olives when He tells them the story of the 10 bridesmaids who went out to meet the bridegroom. Five were considered wise because they brought extra oil for their lamps, while the remaining five were considered foolish because their lamps were out of oil when the bridegroom appeared. In a summary statement Jesus tells His disciples, “so stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of My return” (Matthew 25:13, NLT). Our task and privilege this Christmas season is to help others prepare for the Lord’s return by calling them to repentance and faith. We know that the significance of the Christmas season is not found in the giving and receiving of gifts but in remembering the birth of Jesus the Christ-child and in preparing ourselves for His return. However, many who are close to us have yet to make a personal profession of faith and are unprepared for Christ’s return. By God’s grace, let us make the most of every opportunity that He provides for us to share the Christmas story with others and with the angelic host sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”