December 22, 2000

Devotional from Jan Ross


Today's Devotion
December 22, 2000
"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, good will toward men."  (Luke 2:13-14)
Today's Thought
Charles Wesley, one of the greatest hymnwriters the church has ever known penned words to songs we sing on a regular basis; he was named the most gifted and indefatigable hymnwriter in all England in the 18th century. Charles wrote an average of 10 lines of verses a day over 50 years . . . he was committed AND humbly devoted to the task the Lord had set before him.
One of Wesley's best-known songs is "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing." As we generally hear it today, the song begins with a triumphant proclamation of Jesus' birth, describes the fact that He is both God and man, and then praises Him for the salvation He was born to provide.
Talking about peace on earth is popular at Christmas time, and appropriately so, for Jesus did come to bring peace. Primarily, however, He came to bring us peace with God, which is what Wesley meant when he wrote, "God and sinners reconciled." We have all sinned against God; we have broken His commandments and thus made ourselves His enemies. When people become enemies, they cannot go back to being friends until their differences are set aside. Sometimes reconciliation involves the payment of reparations, and which is essentially what Jesus did when He died on the cross. He paid the price necessary to reconcile us to God. The price was really ours to pay, not God's, but Jesus was able to pay it because, though He was God, He became also a man, being born as a baby on that first Christmas day.
Just reading the words to this song gives us a feel for the love of Christ that dwelled so richly in the heart of this man.  Take a few moments to read the words to this powerful song . . .

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 heav’n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
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 heav’n born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n 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!”

 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;
Adam’s likeness now efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place;
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King.”


Hark! the Harold Angels Sing
Words by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788
Music by Felix Mendelssohn

May the Christ of Christmas dwell in your hearts richly as we stand united with the angels of heaven as they proclaim, "Hark! . . .  God and sinners reconciled!"  What a better gift to give this Christmas . . . give Christ to all you come in contact with as you live a life pleasing and acceptable to Him!
Today's Prayer
Father, when I think of Christmas, the words (as this song so aptly speaks) ring clearer in my ears as each day passes . . . "Hark!  The herald angels sing . . . 'GLORY TO THE NEWBORN KING!'"  Thank you for the Gift of all ages . . . Jesus Christ, my Lord!  Amen and Amen!!
Have a blessed day!

Devotional from Shenna Cherry




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