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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Wesley’

It is a wonderful season of the year! We all love theChristmas carols! It almost seems a shame that we only sing some of them at this time of the year. How often do we pay attention to the lyrics? One hymn especially, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, by Charles Wesley, actually contains the true meaning about the coming of Christ.

At Christmas we think of Jesus in the manger. We can picture Mary and Joseph there. The shepherds come. The angels are gathered in the skies singing praise to God! What beautiful pictures of love, peace, and joy.

nativity-angles

But why did God send His Son to earth? Why did Jesus have to be born in a lowly stable? Just what is the real meaning of Christmas?

In 1739, Charles Wesley wrote the lyrics to one of the most popular Christmas carols – “Hark! The Herald Angels sing”. The music was composed by Felix Mendelssohn in 1840. Let us take a closer look at the words. Charles Wesley’s hymn contains the true meaning of Christmas.

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;

Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”

The reason that Jesus came was to reconcile sinners to God. Jesus was sent “through the jesus_on_cross_wallpapertender mercy of our God to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death” (Luke 1:78,79). When Jesus “made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:20), He made peace with God for us so that our sins may be forgiven.

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.”

Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to register for the census. Bethlehem was a small town. Who would have thought that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would be born there? But Jesus showed us how much He loved us by being born in a lowly estate to save us who are not worthy of God’s love on our own. (Luke 1:52, I Corinthians 1:27).

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 incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

In our day there are many other religions that do not recognize Jesus as fully God and fully man. Charles Wesley reminds us that Jesus is “incarnate Deity, pleased with us in flesh to dwell.” When we sing this beautiful song we are singing are affirmation of the basic truth that sets us apart from non-Christians – the full deity and humanity of Christ.

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of peace!
Hail the Son 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.”

The most wonderful miracle of all is that God came in the flesh to save His people. Jesus is truly God and truly man. Jesus was found “in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). “Mild, He lays His glory by.” Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to live the life of a servant in order that we may be made right with God. Jesus gave us our example of how we should live also.

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving pow’r,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

With the coming of Jesus is a promise that all things will be made new. One day there will be no more tears or pain. But even now, on this earth, Jesus gives us the power to live a holy life. We no longer have to fall to the whiles of the devil. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:2). Even ruined nature will be restored. What a joyful day to look forward to!!

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
Oh, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.

This is our humble prayer as sinful humans. When we pray to Him, Jesus forgives and restores His full fellowship with us. What a wonderful privilege when Jesus restores His love in us and gives us joyful hearts to serve Him. We desire to show more of the image of Jesus and less of the image of “Adam” as we grow in our walk with the Lord. Jesus came not only to reconcile us to God, but to give us a holy life while we are on this earth.

It will really help us to bring back the true meaning of Christmas when we sing the wonderful hymns that God has blessed us with. Let us pay special attention to the words. Try singing and praying them at the same time.

Most of all, let us get back to worshipping Jesus at Christmas time.

holychildtopHark! The Herald angels sing
Glory to the Newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!

Merry Christmas!!

 

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