Hymn #127 in Celebrating Grace Hymnal — “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
[pullquote_center width=”85%”]Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die,
Born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the new-born King!”[/pullquote_center]
There is a danger in the carols of Christmas, one that threatens to deaden us to the wisdom hidden within. This danger is familiarity, the same quality that makes them beloved. Anywhere you go, you are apt to hear some version of this carol, sung or played by a wide variety of ensembles. Many of us could sing this carol in our sleep—all three verses!
Our familiarity with this carol should not, however, blind us to the message of comfort and hope contained within. Hear these words anew: “Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings….” We all know that in the midst of the great joy of the season lurk illness, injury, grief, and sorrow. These are part of life, and do not miraculously disappear during Advent and Christmastide. But there is good news, even in darkness! There is one who brings light for our darkness, life for our dead places, and healing for what hurts us. In the middle of this tumultuous existence, Christ comes to meet our deepest needs.
Glory to the newborn King.