October 23, 2017

Angels We Have Heard On High

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Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains

Angels we have heard on high
Singing sweetly through the night
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their brave delight

Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Gloria, in excelsis Deo

Shepherds, why this jubilee
Why your joyous strains prolong
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord, the newborn King

Angels we have heard
Angels we have heard on high
Angels we have heard on high
In excelsis Deo

Author unknown ~ additional phrasing written by Kevin Olusola, Scott Hoying
Performed by Pentatonix

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host
praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
Luke 2:13-14 NASB

This is one of my favorite Christmas carols and this version by Pentatonix is amazing. I love the pure joy I see in their faces on the video.  But I realized as I listened that I wasn’t sure what “Gloria, in excelsis Deo” meant. A quick check of Wikipedia provided this answer:

“Gloria in excelsis Deo” (Latin for “Glory to God in the highest”). The hymn begins with the words that the angels sang when the birth of Christ was announced to shepherds in Luke 2:14. Other verses were added very early, forming a doxology.”

A ‘doxology’ in the Greek literally translates as –doxa– “glory” and logia “saying”… I like that— “glory saying.”   The angels were giving glory to God for the birth of this child, shouting:

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Luke 19:38 NASB

The fullness of Heaven is found in the humility of a manger.  The glory of angels compared to the humility of a stable.  Such a contrast!

“God loves to put His glory in unlikely packages so His glory is more clearly displayed.”
– David Guzik

It should be no surprise then that the first to hear the good news of this miraculous birth would be lowly shepherds abiding in the field at night.  They may have been the only ones awake but God planned it that way.  Christ came for all people, regardless of social status or position.

  • And He died for all – 2 Corinthians 5:15a AMP
  • Who gave Himself as a ransom for all – 1 Timothy 2:6a AMP
  • But we do see Jesus—made lower than the angels for a short time so that by God’s grace He might taste death for everyone – Hebrews 2:9a HCSB

That’s probably the best reason for “glory saying” that I can think of!   Psalm 66:2 (HCSB) says we are to “Sing about the glory of His name; make His praise glorious.” And Romans 15:6 (NLT) urges “all of you…join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

That’s what I want my Christmas to be filled with this year – “glory saying.” How about you?

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Dear Lord,
Please let my mouth be full of praise and honor to You all day long so that I praise You with all my heart, and honor Your name forever, giving all glory to God in the highest. In Christ’s name I ask this—Amen, so be it!

Sing Along

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A couple years ago I was in the car with my sister and nieces, and my niece instantly started singing along to “Angels we Have Heard on High.”  It was such a sweet moment. My sister told me she just loves that song! Now, each Christmas season when I hear this song playing, I think of that moment years ago and smile.

 

I simply love that one of my niece’s favorite songs is one which highlights the glory of God!  I want all of my nieces and nephews to grow up loving God and knowing that He is their Savior. I am thankful they hear about Him daily.

Just as my nieces and nephews hear, how is the entire world going to learn about God’s goodness and love and know Him personally unless they are hearing about Him?

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Acts 1:8

I love this verse so much! It challenges me to truly share Jesus with everyone I pass by in a day. Whether it be a smile, a kind word, or lyrics to a Christmas song—don’t pass up any opportunity to be God’s witness to the whole wide world!

One thing we can take advantage at this time of year is the fact that many people who normally listen to stations playing music with empty words are now hearing Christmas songs filled with God’s words blast through their speakers. These new lyrics can leave them searching for something, for Someone. Let’s be ready to share the good news that Jesus is Who, what they have been searching for. He came into this hurting world for you and me, in order to save us and so we could spend eternity in His glory one day!
Truth be told, maybe the only time Jesus will be heard on most of these stations is during the Christmas season.

Think about the words of this song alone, Angels We Have Heard on High:

Shepherds, why this jubilee
Why your joyous strains prolong
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song
Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Glory to God in the Highest)
Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Glory to God in the Highest)
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing
Come adore on bended knee
Christ our Lord, the new born King

What is the reason for your joy? What is the reason for the hope you have found? What is the reason for these songs of praise? Just as this song answers these questions, let us, too, answer these questions for the single mom asking…the drug addict asking…the homeless person asking…the quiet child asking.

Let us pray for each for these ones to be brought along our path this Christmas so we can share with them God’s love…so that one day they will be singing along with us and the angels, to His glorious song in Heaven, Glory to God in the Highest!