Summary: Christmas celebrates the birthday of the King of Kings. But what is the nature of this King, and why did He come?
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! 1 and 2
(topical, first two stanzas)
1. We associate many things with the Christmas season,including presents.
2. One Christmas my husband put an assortment of beauty products in my stocking. I tried one of the facial masks, and was about to wash it off when my eight-year-old son, Callum, walked in. I explained to him that it was a present from his dad and it would make me beautiful.
He patiently waited by my side as I rinsed and patted my face dry.
“Well, what do you think?” I asked.
“Oh, Mom, it didn’t work!” Callum replied. —Lynn Thibodeau, Ajax, Ontario
3. Another thing we associate is Christmas music. I particularly love the old mainstream Christmas carols. One of them is particularly deep with Biblical concepts. Hark the Herald Angels Sing!
It was written by Charles Wesley, who was an English Methodist leader and hymn writer.
Wesley wrote over 6,000 hymns, more than any other male writer.
His goal in writing hymns was to teach the poor and illiterate sound doctrine.
His brother, John Wesley, a famous theologian and founder of Methodism, said that Charles’ hymnal was the best theological book in existence.
Wesley, inspired by the sounds of London church bells while walking to church on Christmas Day, wrote the “Hark” poem about a year after his conversion to be read on Christmas Day.
The poem first appeared in Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1739 with the opening line of “Hark, how the welkin (heaven) rings.”
In 1753, George Whitefield, a student and eventual colleague of Wesley’s, adapted the poem into the song we now know today.
In the 1850s the words of hymn were paired with music and it was printed in a collection of hymns.
Main Idea: Christmas celebrates the birthday of the King of Kings. But what is the nature of this
King, and why did He come?
I. The KING Has Arrived with a Gift!
A. By the angelic HOSTS announcing a royal birth
Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the new-born King
1. Hark is old English for “Listen” or “Pay Attention.”
2. Herald angels means proclaiming angels
3. Some angels are noted as messengers (Gabriel). Others, guardian; others, worship; others, overseeing nations or administering God’s judgment. Are they repurposed?
Jeremiah 23:5, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land...”
B. The King’s Gift: Peace with God through the RECONCILIATION He provides.
Peace on earth, and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled.
Romans 5:10, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
• When Jacob returned from Mesopotamia with his family, he feared his brother Esau, for he had horribly wronged Esau. But when he returned, Esau came out to greet him; the brothers were reconciled. Same thing with Joseph and his brothers.
C. The citizens of heaven and EARTH will unite in praise.
Joyful, all ye nations, rise, Join the triumph of the skies; With angelic hosts proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
1. The song calls for all to proclaim the good news.
2. This is the theme of many psalms, but its fulfillment has yet to take place.
3. Psalm 2:2-3 express the attitude of our world’s leaders, “The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
4. The Millennium, which is the real theme of Joy to the World.
5. The New Heavens and the New Earth
6. At this time, God’s will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven; Mankind will be as holy as the holy angels.
II. WHO is this King?
A. Worthy to be WORSHIPED by the angels.
Christ, by highest heav’n adored,
1. Highest heaven, meaning the third heaven.
2. Heaven is used by Wesley to mean the citizens of heaven, angels.
Hebrews 1:5-7, For to which of the angels did God ever say,“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God's angels worship him.”
Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.”
3. Only God is to be worshiped; it is wrong to worship anybody or anything besides God.
Revelation 22:8, I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.