Hello everyone!

Ethan here, and I just wanted to share with you guys a little bit about something that’s been on my mind lately. I was in church recently, and seeing as how it’s around Christmas time, we began to sing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. As I sang the lyrics, it sunk in for the first time the depth of theological truth found within those words. At the same time, my Theology II class—with the amazing Dr. Thoennes— is just finishing up our Doctrine of Christ unit, where we look deeply into who Christ is and his purpose here on earth. Already being in the mindset of thinking about Christ a little more deeply, I suddenly made the connection between the lyrics and what we base our lives on and faith in. It’s amazing to consider, and I just wanted to share it with you all!

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 th’angelic host 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 man 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 Son 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!”

There are a few lines from this song that show the depth of theology that can be expressed in music. I think most of us can recognize that “Glory to the newborn King” is referring to Jesus’ birth, and his birth truly is something to worship and celebrate! But there’s more that we miss when we focus on those lines. The line “Christ the everlasting Lord” is a clear affirmation of Christ’s humanity and deity! We know Christ was born a human baby, but saying he is our everlasting Lord is to show that he is infinite, and no one who is only human is infinite. Psalm 90:2 says “...from everlasting to everlasting…” when referring to God, and here we see it again. Jesus is God; That is why his birth is so important! Our God came to us in human form!

One of my favorite lines is “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate Deity”. Again we see an affirmation of Jesus’ deity, but then we see something else: an affirmation of the Trinity! The Godhead is The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, and the Son became flesh to represent the entirety of the person of God to humanity. The song speaks even to Jesus’ death and resurrection: “Ris’n with healing in his wings”. And then, in the conclusion of the song, we see why he was born: “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”. Christmas exists because Jesus gave up his claims to deity in utter humility, living the human life we never could so that we don’t have to die permanently as a result of our sins. We can be resurrected, just like he was, and our “second birth” is a spiritual (and at Christ’s second coming, physical) one. Isn’t it amazing how we see the whole Gospel in one little Christmas song?!

The author of this song is literally presenting the person of Christ right before us, and yet when we hear it on the radio we either turn to a different station or fail to think deeply about the lyrics! We have Christmas because the Almighty God humbled himself to be born as a baby, grow up, become sin and die on the cross so we might live, and was raised again days later. I’m sure many of you reading this are Christians, but we cannot forget that we are saved by what the Gospel tells us is true, and so we need to remember that the Gospel is not a been-there-done that idea we can accept and move on from. We must remember its value and importance even to those who are already saved, its importance to you and me! Isn’t it amazing how we can see the whole Gospel shared in one song that millions and millions of people hear every single year? I urge you, next time you’re listening to a Christmas carol, or any other worship song for that matter, try to truly think about what you’re singing, and see whether it is biblical and true.

I pray that you all can find the joy and excitement in seeing how God’s truth is involved in deep detail even in something as “old-fashioned” as “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. I think it’s so amazing to make connections like this, and I hope you all enjoyed making this connection with me!

With all brotherly love,

Ethan :)