Friday, December 24, 2010
From The Realms of Glory
One of my favorite Christmas hymns is entitled "Angels From the Realms of Glory," and tells the story of how groups of people throughout the ages would look to the birth of Christ as the singular event in human history, and would see the Christ child as more deserving of their worship than anything else. It speaks of angels, shepherds, sages, saints, and sinners, who would leave all that they had, to come to the Savior and kneel at His feet, to praise Him and love Him and acknowledge His majesty and be healed by His mercy and love.
Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.
Shepherds, in the field abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing;
Yonder shines the infant light:
Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations;
Ye have seen His natal star.
Saints, before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear;
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear.
Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes the sentence,
Mercy calls you; break your chains.
Though an Infant now we view Him,
He shall fill His Father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down.
Christmas is a time of rejoicing at the good tidings of great joy delivered to all people by an angel millenia ago. It is a time of singing with the heavenly hosts, proclaiming, "Glory to God in the Highest." It is a time to re-dedicate ourselves to "peace on earth, goodwill to men." It is a time to leave our contemplations, to bend before the altar, to be filled with wondering awe. For the Savior, the Lord of heaven and earth, condescended to be born into the world He had formed, to walk among us as a humble child. He, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords, was born to a young girl and her betrothed, laid in a feeding trough, visited by shepherds, and sought by kings. At Christmas we remember that Christ came to sanctify not only the great houses of worship, not only temples and cathedrals and palaces, but also, and ever, the simple, humble places where the pure in heart dwell. He came to redeem. He came to exalt. He came to heal. He came as Emmanuel--God with us. May God be ever welcome in our homes and in our hearts.
For God with us is now residing--Mercy calls you, break your chains.
Picture from http://cdn.elev8.com/