Angels from the Realms of Glory

One of my all time favorite carols, this classic proclamation of the Good News beautifully covers the main players in the Christmas story.

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story,
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
Come and worship, come and worship, Worship Christ, the newborn King!

God knew that the world might miss out on His timing, so He sent the angels to proclaim the Good News. The Creator came to His creation!!

Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with man is now residing,
Yonder shines the infant Light;
Come and worship, come and worship, Worship Christ, the newborn King!

The first people the angels spoke to were those who were the loneliest and who needed to know they weren’t forgotten: the shepherds, living on the outskirts with their flocks.  The Good News had arrived!

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great desire of nations,
Ye have seen His natal star;
Come and worship, come and worship, Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Not only did the angels proclaim the Good News to the shepherds, but the star over Bethlehem attracted the attention of several wise men in a far off land, who had studied the prophecies and understood the King was being born.

His timing is such that He not only sent an angel to Mary to let her know she would bear the Messiah, but set a star alignment in the sky which would draw seekers outside of the Jewish faith to come to Him.

God was already letting us know He was coming for all:

Those who were in the family, those who were on the outskirts, and those seeking from afar.

Saints before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear,
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear:
Come and worship, come and worship, Worship Christ, the newborn King!

I love this Carol in part because of the fourth verse. We are part of the Christmas story, saints. 

All of Christmas was done with us in mind.

To draw attention to the reality that God had always had us on His mind, and was always willing to pour out His heart of love for His Beloved.

What a carol to proclaim to the world, indeed!

All of us have one song to sing, this Christmas and every day: Come and worship Him!

May His song arise within you, and pour out in His praise again today!

He is the Song we are to sing, always!

Historical Background:
Irishman James Montgomery penned the words, and Henry Smart composed the music for “Angels from the Realms of Glory” in 1816.

Fun Fact: In the UK, “Angels we have Heard on High” is also sung to this tune!

when the sky fills with wonder…the angels

There was another sight to wonder at, besides the star illuminating Jesus had been born….

There were shepherds camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

-Luke 2:8-14

When an angel suddenly shows up in all their wondrous glory, people take notice.

This being the third angelic sighting of the Advent story, I am struck awe with wonder at how much God has already reached out to people to lay the way for His son’s arrival!

The angel captivated his audience that night with the message of Jesus’ birth, and then the full spectacular angelic event ever recorded so far filled the sky.


Seeing and hearing an angelic choir, after hearing one speak to you would be mindbogglingly wonder-full, wouldn’t it?!

Imagine being the angels. I am sure there must have been wonder at what God was doing as they praised God with their song.

But just seeing and hearing the good news isn’t where this story ends, it swiftly moves on to ewe….



Preparing the Way- Luke

Luke begins the Advent story with a miraculous conception, but not the one you may be thinking of!

Zachariah was a priest, married to Elizabeth. Luke tells us they lived honorably before the Lord. They never had children, and were now passed their prime.

Sound familiar? (echoes of Abraham & Sarah….)

Anyhow, Zachariah got chosen to do a once in a lifetime opportunity for the priests, to burn incense in the sanctuary of God, the Holy of Holies. As he began to perform his duty, an angel appeared, freaking Zachariah out.

The angel didn’t just show up to be seen, but was sent with good news. Zachariah & Elizabeth were going to have a child, a boy they were to name John, who would be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth & herald the arrival of God-with-us. His job would be to help get the people ready for God.

Wow! Awesome news, right?

Zachariah had a hard time accepting Gabriel’s news. As a result, God struck him dumb until it all came to pass, as He has prepared.

It became apparent when Zachariah left the temple that he had seen a vision…but he couldn’t speak, except for some hand gestures.

Zachariah went home to his wife, and surprise! Guess who became pregnant!

Elizabeth was so delighted, she went off by herself for five months to enjoy her pregnancy.

The same gift, with two difference responses.

The first immediately questioned, the second responded with delight.

When God prepares the way, we need to prepare ourselves to receive the gifts & blessings He has in store for us.

We will revisit Elizabeth a little later this month, as more people are added to this family drama we are unpacking as we work our way through the gospels.

Adventures in Advent may appear to have taken a detour, but this was all a part of God’s plan….

I can’t wait to keep unwrapping the layers again tomorrow!

good news- fresh mercy daily

Summer can be filled with great news:

Vacation days.
Sporting events.
Relaxing nights on the porch.
BBQ aromas wafting in the air.
Exams are over.
Acceptance letters.
Summer jobs.

For many people, summer can bring more stressful news, such as needing to pay your school fees, or planning a move to a new place.

The Bible offers the same good news no matter which kind of news you may be currently working with:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

Each of us only has today, no matter what your day holds.

Yesterday will never come again. You can never change it once its gone, you can only change how it changed you.

Whether you celebrated, cried, worked or relaxed yesterday, today is a fresh new start waiting for you the instant you open your eyes.

God is the only constant we have each day. His love never changes.
He keeps no records of our past wrongs once we confess them. He is faithful to us, always.
His mercy starts all over:

Each and every day.

If you need to hear good news today, it is no mistake that the writer of Lamentations included this verse as they wrote about the ups and downs of life.

Every body needs the hope of good news sometime.

The Son is always ready to shine His love and offer His mercy to all who come.

And that is the best news we can be sharing this summer.

Spread the joy- His mercy is new every morning!