HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING                                         written in 1739

The Story

Charles Wesley (1707-1788) wrote over 6,000 hymn texts, but this one may have been his best one! In singing this hymn, we not only join the shepherds under a canopy of singing angels, we also learn about the Jesus they proclaimed. We discover who He is and what His coming means.

Because Charles was a somber man, he initially requested these lyrics be placed with a slow and solemn tune. The tune was eventually changed to become the exuberant carol it is today.

Wesley’s carol is filled with powerful scripture ideas; a month could be spent studying these verses. But let’s focus on that last 4 lines: “Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die; born to raise the sons (and daughters) of earth, born to give them second birth.” These are the reasons why Jesus came: so we would not have to face eternal death… so He could raise us with Him… so He could regenerate us into children of God.

For these reasons and so much more, He deserves our praise. “Glory to the newborn King!”

By the way, we have no record the angels ever actually sang their message.

The Song

            Read this Christmas hymn, and – today – listen for the messaging angels!

Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconcile.
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.”

Christ, by highest heaven 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,
pleased as Man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.”

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of peace!  Hail the Sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings.
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.
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

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