PART 2: Reflection on “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” (song written by Charles Wesley and reflection adapted from a blog on a Christian website with permission).
We mentioned that in the first part of this song God sent his “herald angels” to bring the news of the birth of the newborn King to the world, and thus “Peace on earth and Mercy mild” had arrived, as they proclaimed ” Glory to the newborn King”
The rest of the song tells more:
“Christ, by highest heaven 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 with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”’
In these lines we hear of one of the greatest mysteries of Christianity, the “Incarnation”. God came to us in the flesh, offspring of a virgin’s womb, therefore born in the likeness of men, pleased to be with us “in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.”
The Incarnation tells us that God has made Himself accessible and comes as the most approachable, vulneable thing in the world, a baby, fully divine but also human. He did not come as a rich king, but emptied Himself to live the life of a servant and dwell among us.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote from a Nazi prison cell, “And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.”
Part 3 of this reflection will be published tomorrow, Friday, December 27, 2019.
May the Peace of the Christ Child live in your hearts now and forever. God Bless!