Encourage0gram December 4, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today we will explore the first verse of Charles Wesley’s song: “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.”
Wesley began his song with the word “Hark” which means listen! So let’s join together to listen to the truth we find here. Our approach will be simply to point to some Scriptures that are the foundation of truth taught. Please take a few moments to meditate on the Scriptures which inspired Charles to write this beautiful song.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Charles begins with a strong command to each of us to Listen to the angels. Clearly, he was inspired by the angelic announcement to Shepherds in Luke 2.
NIV Luke 2:9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
This announcement is followed by a host of angels proclaiming:
NIV Luke 2:13-14 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
The doctrine of reconciliation between our holy God and sinners is taught in many places in the New Testament. Reconciliation teaches us that God will restore our relationship with him that was lost in the Garden of Eden because of sin. This reconciliation is made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Perhaps Paul says it best in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
NIV 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
The angels proclaim that this birth of our Messiah is good news for all people, therefore Wesley calls for all nations to join in the praising of the angels.
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Micah predicted the birthplace of our Savior in Micah 5:2.
NIV Micah 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." 3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. 4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.
Your servant for Jesus’ sake,