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Hark, the Herald Angels Sing

   All
through the ages God’s Messengers have proclaimed His messages.  The Book of Luke has twenty-four recordings
of the appearance of angels, and Revelations has seventy-five recordings in the
ESV version. Their messages, begin, “Fear Not!”, and stirs our hearts anew.  
   Man has tried to depict angels as sweet
cherubs, young girls, and fierce warriors for God. Yet, when we hear the message
of the angels, it touches our hearts, not the visual representation we may
perceive. The appearance of an Angel or a group of angels is a call to action
of listening and obedience.
   Whether the message is spoken or sung by the
angels, their message is the song our hearts hear.  The night, Jesus, our Hope, was born, the
Angels proclaimed to the shepherds, And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for
behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
 For unto you is born
this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the
Lord.
 And this
will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths
and lying in a manger.”
 And suddenly there was with the angel a
multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the
highest,
 and on earth peace among
those with whom he is pleased!”
Luke 2:10-14.
   A lasting praise to God in a hymn, often is
the work of several people. This is the case for this Christmas Carol, written
by Charles Wesley.  He wrote Hark how all
the Welkin rings. Welkin is the old English for the vault
of the sky, referring to the firmament of Heaven. George Whitefield, a friend
of the Wesley brothers, made changes to Hark
the Herald Angels sing
, and a few other changes. This carol was first published
in 1739. In 1856, a Mendelssohn tune was adapted to the lyrics, by W. H.
Cummings, we now sing.
  
 My Mother, Anna Daisy Siemens,
grew up with a laconic painting in her room of two children on a bridge and
guarded by the artist’s depiction a guardian angel. She grew up on a farm in
Central Kansas, in a household of deep faith. The farm house rang with hymns of
faith and the rich tones of voices blended in delightful harmony all year long.
         The
Christmas Eve celebration included the reading of Luke 2, singing Christmas carols,
and prayer, as the family knelt together. Real candles on the Christmas tree
were lit during the Christmas Eve celebration. 
A bucket of water stood nearby as a precautionary measure.  The candles were snuffed out as the last ‘Amen’
sounded.
         I
recall, as a child, the old Victrola in one corner of the living room at
Grandpa’s house, where old records of early great singers, including Madame
Ernestine Schumann-Heink, could be heard and enjoyed.
         Truly,
God was praised as the birth of Jesus is celebrated in the center of Kansas,
and the uttermost parts of the world. Hope was born in Bethlehem during the
first Advent and this Hope and spread over all the earth. No matter how often
those who disbelieve, try to eradicate all that God is, they cannot. Our world
was created and held together by Jesus Christ and His Love.  We remember the birth of salvation and freedom
from sin came to the hearts of men who listen and proclaim His love. Not just
in December, but throughout the year with our prayers, praise, and joy in song.
But you,
Lord, are a shield about
me, my glory, and the
lifter of my head.
Psalm 3:3.
         This
hope and joy is not all there is. Hope is not static.  It grows the more we delight in our Lord and
Savior. When we have a taste of God’s love, wisdom, and forgiveness, we want
more. Oh, taste and see
that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man
who takes refuge in him!
Psalm 34:8.
        Hark! The herald angels sing – Glory to the
new-born 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 new-born King.
         “Men of
Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has
been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the
same way you saw him go!”
Acts 1:11.
Jesus will
return as our King.  This is the Second
Advent.  The first Advent was filled with
Glory and Angels!  How great will the
Second Advent be when every knee is bowed, and every tongue confesses – Jesus
is our Lord?
          For I am persuaded that neither
death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present
nor things to come, 
nor
height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us
from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans
8:38-39.
         And what do you benefit if you gain the
whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
  For the Son of Man will come
with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according
to their deeds.
Matthew 16: 26-27.


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         “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor
and power.

For you created all things, and they exist
because you created what you pleased.”
Revelation 4:11.









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