Advent 2019: Angels

By Jamie Harms

My husband cracks me up because, when he has good news to share, his mom and I are always the first to know. Usually the first one to hear depends on which one of us picks up our phone first. Whether it is news that a grant has been funded, a paper has been accepted, a speaking invitation has been extended, or a friend/colleague is coming to town, my husband is the messenger of good news to his mom and me.  

Angels were the messengers of good news that first Christmas night. Their message on that hillside was loud and clear — Christ our Messiah is here! The shepherds were recorded as the first to worship the Messiah, and as they went out from the manger, so did the message. Word began to spread, as did the hope that the Messiah was finally here.   

One of my favorite passages in Scripture is when the old priest Simeon sees the fulfillment of that message as Jesus is dedicated at the temple. He holds the Christ child in his arms, declaring, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” 

The message was amazing. Jesus came as God in the flesh for our salvation, so the Gentiles might know Him. He would be the glory and treasured possession of His people. That is a message worthy of declaring to every corner of the earth! 

Angel Candle: As you light the angel candle today, read Luke 2:22-32 and sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” remembering and proclaiming the good news that the angels brought — Christ our Messiah is here!

Luke 2:22-32

And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Hark! the herald angels sing, 
“Glory to the new-born King! 
Peace on earth, and mercy mild, 
God and sinners reconciled.” 
Joyful, all ye nations, rise, 
Join the triumph of the skies; 
With th’ angelic host proclaim, 
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.” 
Hark! the herald angels sing, 
“Glory to the new-born King! 

Christ, by highest heaven adored: 
Christ, the everlasting Lord; 
Late in time behold him come, 
Offspring of the favoured one. 
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see; 
Hail, th’incarnate Deity: 
Pleased, as man, with men to dwell, 
Jesus, our Emmanuel! 
Hark! the herald angels sing, 
“Glory to the new-born King! 

Hail! the heaven-born Prince of peace! 
Hail! the Son of Righteousness! 
Light and life to all he brings, 
Risen with healing in his wings 
Mild he lays his glory by, 
Born that man no more may die: 
Born to raise the son of earth, 
Born to give them second birth. 
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King!”

— Geoff Haynes

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