Hymns of Glory: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

“Hymns of Glory” will be a recurring series. Its purpose is to reflect on beautiful, sound, and spiritual hymns, both old and modern, that have made a tremendous impact in the lives of those who write for The Reformed Alliance, and have glorified God through it’s all-around composition. May you be blessed by the series, and consider these hymns for personal, family, and corporate worship.

With advent comes terrible Christmas music that is played into oblivion. With songs ranging from Rocking around the Christmas Tree to The Twelve Days of Christmas, it seems virtually impossible to escape. However, there are reprieves in the Christmas music onslaught. Songs such as Angels from the Realms of Glory and Joy to the World are enjoyable enough that I’m not pushed to the edge of insanity. Moreover, they’re biblical. We’ll be looking at one more such song today: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Let’s get to it, shall we?

“Hark! The Herald angels sing”

Hark, you man! Hark, you woman! Hark, you child! The angels are singing, and it is a song worth hearing! These angels who have been set aside for just such a cause as this, to herald the good news, are doing so in glorious song!

“Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled”

Glory be to this King who is born, who now takes upon himself flesh and dwells among men. He will make peace and bring mercy from heaven, reconciling sinners to God! These sinners who are so far from deserving his mercy are yet receiving it because of this King. Glory to him!

“Joyful, all ye nations rise! Join the triumph of the skies! With angelic host proclaim, ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem!’”

Ah, you, Creation, quiet now your groaning, lift your spirits up toward the Christ! Rejoice! There is a triumph of which you are a part! A triumph in the heavens as well as on Earth! Join the chorus of the angels’ song, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

“Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord, late in time behold him come, offspring of a virgin’s womb”

This Christ, now born in Bethlehem, is the Crown of heaven, the radiance of the Father’s glory whom all of heaven rejoices to adore. The fullness of time has been completed and now he condescends to the womb of a virgin, born in perfection, and free of a sin nature as he didn’t have an earthly father.

“Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail th’incarnate Deity, pleased in flesh with us to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel.”

As John clearly illustrates in the first chapter of his account of the gospel, very God became very man, veiling himself in flesh and emptying himself as he came down from glory. This is God in the flesh! “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (ESV)

“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.”

Hail him who is both God and Lord, who brings life to all and is himself the light of all mankind! In him, there is healing and in no other!

“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.”

This Christ consigned himself to a manger in order to bring about salvation. Now is he born to bring life. Now, will he die to kill death. He is the King, the Lord of Hosts! In him there is life, the forgiveness of sins.

(To listen to the hymn, click on this link. The lyrics are below.)

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 hosts 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 Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail th’incarnate Deity
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell
Jesus, our Immanuel

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

Soli Deo Gloria.

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