Glory to God in the Highest!
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God…”
Christmas is often criticised as being a time of being over-sentimental. The same old carols played everywhere—on street corners, in shops, through the media, etc. Landscapes of snow and jolly children sledging, Victorian scenes of wellbeing—all may be felt to contribute to the perceived sentimentality of Christmas.
So what really happened the night the Saviour of the world was born? Was there sentiment? Some might call it that while others, myself included, call it unadulterated joy. Luke 2:13-14 says, “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’” This was quite a party! Charles Wesley knew the joy, which is why he wrote the stirring words, Joy to the World! in the carol, ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing!’ He had a clear vision of the celebration going on in heaven. Think about the words of these well-known songs and then think about the heavenly choruses.
As we hear the children, old people, and everyone in between, singing the old favourite traditional carols, think of the worship that was going on in the heavens on the night above all nights. Join in the worship. As we read in Psalm 95:1-2, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”
The sentiment of Christmas touches hearts and minds—let us not judge others, but join in thanksgiving for the Saviour come to earth.
Loving Father God, thank you for sending Jesus as an infant, to grow into a man, experiencing what life on earth is for all of us. Thank you for giving us this man – your Son, to live and to die for us that we might be saved from our sins. We rejoice in your gift.
Study by Irene Wilson
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Herts. WD24 7HF
Local Congregational Contact: