Glory to the new-born King!

Charles Wesley wrote “Hark! The herald angels sing”, one of the best-known Christmas carols. Charles was the brother of John Wesley, the leader of the English Methodists in the 18th century revival. Charles wrote more than 6000 hymns. His aim was to teach ordinary people, many of whom were poor and illiterate, the great truths of the Christian faith. Charles wrote this carol while walking to church on Christmas Day about a year after his own conversion.

The birth of Jesus was a cosmic event that had implications for the whole world and for time and eternity. The baby who was born was a King and angels heralded his birth: “Hark! The herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the new-born King.’”
 This heavenly King, who was born in lowly circumstances in Bethlehem, had come to reconcile sinful people from all nations to God: “Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled: joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies, with the angelic host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

Jesus, the eternal Son of God, came from heaven to this world. He had always been with his Father in heaven and now in the incarnation he took a human nature. His young mother Mary was a virgin who by the power of God the Holy Spirit conceived in her womb the Christ child. “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 men to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel.”
 The name Immanuel means “God with us.”

The coming of Jesus into the world is a cause for great joy: he offers hope to all people. His light shines into the hearts of all who come to him to receive eternal life. “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 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 new-born King.’” Jesus is a unique King who accomplished his purposes through exclusively peaceful means and always acted righteously. Many people from all nations have received him as Saviour and Lord and have been born again to new life and to a living hope for this life and the life to come. No wonder they join the angels in singing “Glory to the new-born King!”

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