#84: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing: 1739: Words by Charles Wesley and George Whitfield. Music: Mendelssohn: 1840
For 49 weeks of the year the Christmas decorations are boxed and stored but on December 5th they arise from their slumber and take their place throughout the house. They come out on Dec 5th because my son’s birthday is December 4th and when the children were growing, it was family tradition to celebrate all the birthdays which came in a bit of a rush at the end of November and early December and then to move into the Christmas Spirit. I love decorating the house and each year it is a walk down memory lane as I place each one and remember their story. Gifts from work colleagues long past and Secret Santas and from mums whose children I have taught, and overseas students who have home-stayed with us and special pieces bought on overseas trips and love filled pieces given to me by my children and grandchildren. I actually like Maria Kondo and her “spark joy” ideas for de-cluttering; all I can say is when I unpack the Chrissy decorations de-cluttering is not really front of mind, but my heart is full of joy, and memories and gratitude and love.
The Angel Collection is the inspiration for today’s song, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing“. It is an English Christmas carol from 1739 and based on scripture from Luke 2:14, which speaks of an angelic chorus singing praises to God. Charles Wesley and George Whitefield of the Methodist tradition first wrote the words and the music is by Mendelssohn, published in 1840. The song is a ripper and I hope you will dwell on the words as you listen.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
We talk a lot about reconciliation in our world. We want to reconcile peoples and nations and cultures. We want to reconcile broken relationships and families and industrial dis-agreements- and reconciliation is a really good thing. When we talk about reconciliation we expect that both parties will make a move towards each other, that both parties are prepared to give up some things for a mutual agreement. But when we look at Christ, we realise that He gave up everything to be born in human form and then die on a cross so that we sinners can be reconciled to God. It really is the best news!