Christmas WorshipLast Christmas, I wrote another type of Christmas Carol Devotional centered on the Songs of Zechariah and Mary as they rejoiced in the Promise of Christmas. Throughout that writing process, the most well-known portions of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” tugged at my heart “o’er and o’er”. I’ve always enjoyed traditional Christmas hymns but it was within that writing period that I began seeing these traditional songs as beautiful expressions of worship. Maybe like Zechariah, my devotion had become routine. When I sought out the full lyrics of this classic carol, I was blown away. Every line has rich meaning that redirects us to properly anticipating Christmas and rekindling our hope and joy!
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holiday DevotionalBefore reading further, pause and pray, asking God to refresh the wonder of Christ’s love and it’s unmatched power to heal an aching heart. This holiday devotional is centered on reminding your spirit exactly why we celebrate and encourage you to bring your sacrifice of praise! “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” was written by Charles Wesley and others in 1739. The melody was composed by Felix Mendelssohn in 1840. Let’s dig into the promise of Christmas as displayed in this beautiful hymn. Its lyrics are a holiday devotional all on its own, walking us through God’s vision for our redemption!
Hark, the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled“Listen! These angels are messengers from God and their appearance is a heavenly sign!” This first verse lays out the good news held within the promise of Christmas. God, Immanuel, is coming to be with us. You can rest in knowing God is in your presence. You never have to live in separation unless it is by your own choice. Lay all your burdens down and receive this mercy.
Joyful all ye nations rise Join the triumph of the skies With angelic hosts proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem Hark, the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn KingGod is here in our midst, yet calls you and me, and all of humanity nearer still. Let it spark new birth in us! Let each of us join the angels in celebration of our heavenly adoption. We have joy and we have it triumphantly! It is rooted deep within, the fruit of the Spirit bringing nourishment and light without reservation as support for an abundant life. Hungry, thirsty, and weak? Build your resolve to taste and see. The Lord is so good and kind. Changes will come after accepting this gift, but nothing is needed from you now ‘cept a desire to receive.
Christ by highest heav’n adored Christ the everlasting Lord Late in time behold Him come Offspring of the Virgin’s wombAfter the world’s long anticipation, the prophecies of the Immanuel, God with Us, being born of a virgin were coming to pass. God who was and is and is to come was born as one of us! This sentiment and the lyrics, just as they did in their own time period, resonate with us now. Creation’s longing for redemption prior to Jesus’s birth is mirrored in our own longing for Advent or Christ’s second coming. Our hope stirs faith that we will see good things in the land of the living (see Psalm 27:13-14)!
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 newborn KingAnd not only has Christ come to serve us and redeem us, but this job is also pleasing to our Savior! This divesting of glory and title has been the plan all along and it is happening now. Now for us, remaining here in the last days, “Listen! And bring God all glory and praise!”. Celebrate this season with all you have. Whether it be little or much, bring it and know God is pleased to dwell with you. The Story of Christmas makes it evident God will bridge any gap and overfill any short supply!
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 wingsThis message is meant for all! No blacklisting. No lines in the desert sand. No margins or boundaries. No red tape to limbo beneath or hurdles to jump. Call it out! Affirm in your heart, this heaven-born Prince of Peace, this Son of Righteousness is the Light and Life we’ve needed, the Healing we’ve long-awaited. This gift is meant for all those before us, for our brothers and sisters now and those yet to be.
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 KingThe Cosmic God has come small and mild, humbling himself as a baby so that we need not fear or resist. Acceptance of Immanuel brings good gifts here to us now and welcomes us to celebrate, fully enveloped in Love’s Pure Light for all of eternity. This Life Eternal is born in us the moment we Listen, Believe, and Give Glory to the Son of God.
CHRISTMAS PRAYER SONG
Come, Desire of nations, come, Fix in us Thy humble home; Rise, the woman’s conquering Seed, Bruise in us the serpent’s head.This desire for eternity has been planted in our hearts from the very beginning and is now ours to freely access! With a surrendered and humble heart, kneeling within your spirit, welcome this Desire of Nations to fix a home in you. God came small and needy so that you need not fear nor doubt your decision to welcome the Source of Love and Light into your life. Let this Christmas Prayer Song take root as you adopt a prayerful heart posture through the remainder of this holiday devotional and let the Spirit relight the candle this season.
God, birth your Living Word in my heart. Stamp out and bruise anything in me that would rise up against your perfect ways. Let me never take my access to you for granted! May my whole life be for you and your glory.
Now display Thy saving power, Ruined nature now restore; Now in mystic union join Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.
Tether my heart to yours and show me who you are without limit, God. Display your power in bringing Life to all things. In Jesus, we receive mystic union, holistic union, righteous union with our Sovereign God (see John 14:20).
Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface, Stamp Thine image in its place: Second Adam from above, Reinstate us in Thy love.
Created in your image, God, come and finish the work of birthing Eternal Life. Let us now reflect you in body, mind, and spirit. Erase any parts that are self-absorbed. Stamp your image in its place! What was created from dust includes death, but what is created from your spirit produces Life and Love Eternal (see 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 and 21-22, Romans 5:12-17).
Let us Thee, though lost, regain, Thee, the Life, the inner man: O, to all Thyself impart, Formed in each believing heart
Let me regain my nearness to you. Anything that was lost, redeem. Let me reflect You with clarity. Impart yourself into every bit, and transform me holistically! I believe in you and I welcome you this season, and always.
Amen and Amen.
Holiday Devotional Journal PromptIs there a line or two in “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” or the Holiday Devotional that prompts you to revel in God’s glory, celebrate the miracle of God, connect to others in shared hope or seek peace more fervently? Check out my gift to you. A sweet journal prompt printable, free, with immediate access.
Christmas Affirmations“Hark!” is one of my favorite carols for Christmas worship. Every line is so powerfully centering on God’s love for humanity. It gives me deeply rooted gratitude for the big-picture vision and the detailed work of God’s plan. Knowing nothing faced by those waiting on the Messiah, nor that of the first followers, us today, or brothers and sisters yet to come, is a surprise to God helps me shake off burdens and find joy in the day to day living. With God in your heart, these Christmas affirmations will keep you centered in that same gratitude and joy, no matter what you face this season! If you want a refresher on the lyrics, each song title is clickable, connecting with you with those lines and stanzas.
- In this busy season, I am able to rest.
- I take every opportunity, even in the busiest times, to give and receive pure love.
- I share God’s pure light in my words, attitude and actions.
- My heart is calm. My spirit is bright.
- I am energized by Love’s pure light.
- This Christmas, I remember God’s light overcomes all darkness.
- God’s presence brings me comfort and peace.
- Jesus was always the plan.
- I rest in awareness of God’s order and plan.
- I command my heart to repeat the sounding joy!
- God’s blessings flow beyond any obstacle, carving new paths through old hurts.
- My top priority this season is to prepare God room and experience the Wonders of Holy Love.
- My soul feels it’s worth full well!
- God’s light and love lead me to my Friend and Savior.
- Jesus knows my every need. He loves me fully, even in my weakness.
- I set the intention to love myself and love others.
- God’s law is love and his gospel, peace.
- Jesus replaces all of my chains with joy and gratitude.
- I am free to experience divine love, joy, and peace.