Sunday’s Inspiration

by Editor on December 23, 2012

The histories of hymns fascinate me. I feel connected to the flesh and blood humans who poured their life into words we let our lips form to lift our spirits. My favorite Christmas carol is no exception.

Here is the story from good ol’ wikipedia:

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” first appeared in 1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems, having been written by Charles Wesley, John Wesley’s brother. A sombre man, Wesley had requested and received slow and solemn music for his lyrics, not the joyful tune we now expect.

A hundred years after the publication of Hymns and Sacred Poems, in 1840, Felix Mendelssohn composed a cantata to commemorate Johann Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, and it is music from this cantata, adapted by the English musician William H. Cummings to fit the lyrics of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, that propels the carol we know today.

The creation of my beloved stanzas spanned over one hundred years. Wow! Take heart! Your efforts, coupled with those who have gone before and those yet to come, effect eternity!

Hebrews 11:39 -40 proclaims this truth after the long list of heroes of the faith:

Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours. (msg)

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

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!”

Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of the favored one.
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 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”

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What is your favorite hymn or Christmas carol? Why do you love it?

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– Angie Washington, missionary living in Bolivia, South America

blog: angiewashington.com twitter: @atangie work blog: House of Dreams Orphanage

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