NOTE: This will be my final post of 2013. I will resume on January 1, 2014. I'm looking forward to spending another encouraging year with you.
Suddenly a messenger of the Lord stood in front of them, and the darkness was replaced by a glorious light—the shining light of God’s glory. They were terrified!
MESSENGER: Don’t be afraid! Listen! I bring good news, news of great joy, news that will affect all people everywhere. Today, in the city of David, a Liberator has been born for you! He is the promised Anointed One, the Supreme Authority! You will know you have found Him when you see a baby, wrapped in a blanket, lying in a feeding trough.
At that moment, the first heavenly messenger was joined by thousands of other messengers—a vast heavenly choir. They praised God.
HEAVENLY CHOIR: To the highest heights of the universe, glory to God! And on earth, peace among all people who bring pleasure to God! (Luke 2:9-14, The Voice)
I searched YouTube for "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing". There are a ton of videos (I'm not sure how one weighs videos, but you get the point) by various artists. I just picked the Celtic Woman version because I like them.
I am struck today by the deep theology in Charles Wesley's hymn text. This isn't a simple, sweet song about a baby in a manger. Check out these words:
"God and sinners reconciled"
"Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail the incarnate Deity"
"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."
This song contains a powerful expression of the gospel. The baby of Bethlehem was God in the flesh, who laid aside the glory of Heaven to be born so that we might be born again spiritually and reconciled to God.
Wow! I don't think I can add to that, so I will wish you a blessed Christmas and look forward to seeing you back here on January 1, 2014.