Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn king. Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinner reconciled. Joyful, all ye nations, rise; join the triumph of the skies; with the angelic hosts proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem.” Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn king!”
When this carol was first written, it apparently had ten different stanzas. Imagine the strain on our vocal chords, especially since most of our churches now sing it with only three verses. Nevertheless, it’s message is that which the angels brought to earth: of Emmanuel, the Prince of Peace, who brings light and life to all.
We continue our celebration of Christmastide, on this third day, marking the wonders of the God of all eternity coming “veiled in flesh” that we might see God’s glory. It is the glory of a parents’ only child – one who is given the legacy to pass on to others.
What is that legacy to us? Not only that we should no longer die a physical death, but that we should also work to end death’s hold on this world. This comes in many forms, from medicine to education, food and water to compassionate companionship. However you feel called to dispel the darkness in our midst, seek new ways to live into God’s work through your life. For only together, with Christ’s help, can we breathe new life into our broken world.
And as you find this new life, be sure to join the angelic chorus: 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 we no more may die. Born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn king!”