One of the most iconic Christmas carols of all time, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, is a favorite during the holiday season. But if you’re like me, though you’ve sung the song hundreds of times, you’ve never really listened to the words. In fact, overtime these fascinating lyrics have become rote-like, their meaning lost because we haven’t really been paying attention.
But this carol is a call to capture the attention. Words like “hark,” “herald angels,” and “hail,” alert us to the fact that something important is being shared. These words of alert are as flashing neon signs that should capture and captivate. In essence, they scream, “you don’t want to miss this!”
As I carefully surveyed the third verse of this carol, really paying attention to all of the lyrics, I realized how rich with promise and provision these words are and how they remind us of the character and purpose of Jesus’ coming.
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!”
“Hail,” which means “praise or applaud,” reminds us to give praise and thanks to Jesus.
Praise to the Prince of Peace, the One who calms hearts, anxieties, feelings and frustrations.
Praise to the Son of Righteousness, the One who, Himself, is holy, set apart, and complete. And thank you that the Son of Righteousness makes us right, sets us apart, and makes us complete in Him.
Praise to the Light of the World who uncovers the darkness with His radiance and glory.
Praise to the Life-giver, who gave Himself that we might experience Eternal Life forever.
Praise to our Healer, the One who cures disease, mends hearts, and sews up the broken pieces of our messes and mishaps.
Praise to the One who laid His glory down so we might have relationship with the Eternal.
Hark! Give glory! Applaud! Give thanks for this glorious gift, King Jesus.
As you sing this Christmas, listen, pay attention. Hark!
Director of Women’s Ministry,
Prayer Ministry, & Together at Warren