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

This is another one of Charles Wesley’s Christmas hymns. He wrote it around 1739, about a year after he underwent a life-changing spiritual conversion experience, which he may be alluding to in the last stanza of the hymn (‘Born to give them second birth’).

During the same year, he joined his brother John in the famous field preaching events that revived the Church in England. He did this for over 25 years and many of his hymns were happily sung outdoors among crowds of people. This is probably why Hark! the Herald Angels Sing is so popular at Christmas programs in churches, schools, and public places – the hymn is meant to be sung out, loud and clear, with voices of jubilation and joy.

The hymn is really about the Church on Earth singing ecstatically with the angels in Heaven, glorifying Christ as the King of Kings and the Savior of the world.

Points to Ponder

How does Jesus reconcile me to God? Why should that gift cause me to praise Him?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your birth brought hope back into our world. Your life restored love, and Your sacrifice obtained salvation. We will always be grateful to You and eternally joyful as we accept, praise, and serve You as our Everlasting King. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s Christmas angel drawings called ‘Mighty Messenger.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.

You can watch and listen to this wonderful hymn being sung in the sanctuary of the King’s College in Cambridge, England at one of their ‘Lessons and Carols’ services on Youtube.