the apostle Paul

Also on Rumble – Watch our February 20, 2021 Worship service, sermon by Ron Myers

Watch also on Rumble our February 20, 2022 Worship service, including singing, announcements, special music “Your Grace Still Amazes Me” sung by The Believers, and a missionary report and sermon by visiting missionary Ron Myers.

Ron gave a missionary update about his work in Thailand. He discussed learning a tonal language, the importance of understanding the culture, helping people do better with what they have, presenting the gospel in a way people can understand it, and mentoring new Christians. He then gave a sermon about the prayers of the apostle Paul.

The closing hymn we sang “Whosoever Will” concluded our worship service.

Watch our February 20, 2021 Worship service, sermon by Ron Myers

Watch our February 20, 2022 Worship service, including singing, announcements, special music “Your Grace Still Amazes Me” sung by The Believers, and a missionary report and sermon by visiting missionary Ron Myers.

Ron gave a missionary update about his work in Thailand. He discussed learning a tonal language, the importance of understanding the culture, helping people do better with what they have, presenting the gospel in a way people can understand it, and mentoring new Christians. He then gave a sermon about the prayers of the apostle Paul.

The closing hymn we sang “Whosoever Will” concluded our worship service.

Christmas Carols – “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

“Hark The Herald Angels Sing” is a great Christmas hymn that we sang last Sunday, with some notes about it following it.

“Hark the Herald Angels sing”
Words by Charles Wesley & music by Felix Mendelssohn

Hark the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King:
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!”
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n 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 newborn King!”

First, “hark” is an old word meaning “hear”.

Authors

Charles Wesley, who lived in the 1700s, wrote the lyrics was brother to John Wesley. They were founders of the Methodists which had a big influence in spreading Christianity including in the United Kingdom and the United States. They were a big part in spreading a revival in England during their lives.

Felix Mendelssohn, who lived in the early 1800s, wrote the music that was used for this piece. He was a classical composer and a Jewish believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is best known for the song that is commonly called “The Wedding March;” this was music he wrote to go to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

I like the picture here that we see two believers, Jew and Gentile, whose works are used to praise the birth of the Messiah. This fits with the biblical accounts in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke in which Jews and Gentiles did this originally.

Analysis

“Hark The Herald Angels Sing”  in the hymnal has a pattern of 77. 77. 77. 77. w/refrain. This means that it has four verses with two couplets of seven syllables each and a refrain. It is useful in seeing what other music might be used with it. This is why hymns can be song to different tunes. Of course, I can’t imagine singing this song to any other tune!

We can analyze the structure further by saying there are three verses; each verse is made up of four rhyming trochaic tetrameter couplets that end on a male stress. This is just a poetic way of saying that there are eight lines that are rhymed in groups of two. These lines each have four stressed-unstressed feet (dum-de) with the last one ending on a stress.

Something neat about the course or refrain is note all the long vowels in it. For example, see how long you can say “Hark” versus “Christ“ (first word of verse two). These allow for the words to be sustained which has a strong effect for the course. Of course, they’re not as long as the ones in the course of another Christmas song we sang last Sunday “Angels We Have Heard on High” – “Gloria In Excelsis Deo,Gloria In Excelsis Deo.” But it’s hard to beat Latin for long vowels!

The content of this song is really good, too, and that’s a key that makes it a good song. The first verse calls all to proclaim the birth of Christ; the second tells of his incarnation and birth; and the third of his glorious work. There is significant biblical language and theology in this. For example, note verse three-

“Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!”

Prince of Peace is one of the titles of Messiah given in Isaiah 9:6

“Hail the Sun of Righteousness!”

Sun of Righteousness is another title for the Messiah at his glorious second coming giving in Malachi 4:2

“Light and life to all He brings,”

This is a reference to the Gospel of John (1:4, 9) where the Lord Jesus is said to be the light gives life to all.

“Ris’n with healing in His wings.”
This is another reference to the Prophet Malachi 4:2 speaking of the work of Messiah at his return.

“Mild He lays His glory by,”

This seems to be a reference to the Apostle Paul‘s Epistle to the Philippians (2:6-8). This passage (2:6-11) may actually be an early hymn of the church.

“Born that man no more may die,”

This seems to be another reference to the Gospel of John, the account of the raising of Lazarus (John 11:26).

“Born to raise the sons of earth,”

This looks like a reference to a dialogue of the Lord Jesus Christ recorded in the Gospel of John (6:40).

“Born to give them second birth.”

This refers to the Lord Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus in the Gospel of John chapter 3.

There are a number of ways to sing and enjoy songs like this. One way is to sing it as if you’re singing it for the first time and you’ve never heard of any of it before. Another way is to sing it with the knowledge of all the references and all that is stated and implied in each reference forming a sort of spiritual counterpoint to the experience.

Hymns and Songs