“God and Sinners Reconciled!”

One of my pastors once said that all of America has heard the Gospel in Christmas carols. There’s hardly anyone who hasn’t heard “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” because it’s sung in two Christmas classics shown annually on television in the United States. In each classic the main character goes through a hard time with troubles and discouragement, and the carol is part of the ending of each.

At the very end of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” George Bailey and his family and friends sing it in exuberant joy as they come together to save him from the threat of prison. It’s also sung at the very end of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” after the Peanuts friends have ego-clashed and scolded and gotten mad at Charlie Brown, but then finally realize that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of the newborn King, and they sing the carol in harmony and peace with each other after they come together to help him and his pitiful tree.

I wonder why that song was chosen. Was it the music? The lyrics? Both? Look at the lyrics. It’s first stanza proclaims, God and sinners reconciled.” Here is the Good News of Jesus Christ!

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 hosts proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing:,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the Everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the Incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn 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 sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

And here is the Good News publicly proclaimed!

“Glory to the newborn King!”

WDR is the West German Broadcasting Corporation.

Copyright ©2018–2020 Iwana Carpenter

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