The First Christmas Song1
Music fills the air at Christmas. Concert venues swell to capacity every December. Songs express the emotion of the heart. There was a special number that made it's debut on the first Christmas night. I'd like to consider the audience, the singers, the song and the response as a yuletide thought.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
It wasn't hustling hamlet of Bethlehem that heard the song, nor the pious priests of Temple. Instead there were some no name shepherds living on the outskirts of society that heard first. Yup, it was lowly shepherds, they could not enter the temple, they were unclean.
The angel said to them...
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and singing...
Now that's a choir! Do angels ever sing off key, do they miss a note, forget the harmony, probably not. The best singers in the universe are angels. They bring the wonder. G. K. Chesterton said, "The world will never starve for want of wonders, but only for want of wonder."
Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.
"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" or on whom His favor rests!"
This is the BEST translation, "and on earth peace among those who are in God's will."
Glory is hard to define. It is like beauty. There is a big difference between a snowball and snowflake.
God's glory is the goal of all creation. Here it is capturing a moment unlike any other. God's glory is in the highest place - heaven, yet in this moment of song heaven came down and glory filled the shepherd's souls.
Can you hear the angels singing? God's glory is something to see and sing.
"Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
The babe in the manger is more acceptable than the Christ on the cross.
Wonder begins in the presence of God and wonder spreads and it spreads the best through song.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King, let every heart prepare Him room.
and heaven and nature sing.