“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!”
God, reconciled us to Himself through the Messiah, and he gave us the ministry of reconciliation, God was reconciling the world to Himself in the Messiah, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting us with the message of reconciliation….The Messiah did not know sin, but God made him to be sin on our behalf so that in him we might embody God’s faithfulness to the covenant. (2Co 5:18-19; 21 CT)
Sometimes at Christmas we allow the fuzziness of the season to mask to the actual meaning of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. Hark the Herald Angels Sing was composed by Charles Wesley in 1739. The opening line was, “Hark! how all the welkin rings.” Welkin is an old English term for heavens. George Whitfield later changed the wording to the version we know today. The words say, “Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled. The three verse of 2 Corinthians tells us three things Christ has done for us.
- God, reconciled us to Himself
- God was reconciling the world to Himself
- God made him to be sin on our behalf so that in him we might embody God’s faithfulness to the covenant
God did it all for us; it really is a work of grace. In return, we received:
- Ministry of reconciliation
- Message of reconciliation
- That we might embody God’s faithfulness to the covenant. In others words, the curse of sin and the law having been removed, the blessings of Abraham become ours.
When Paul wrote these words, his spirit knew he was on the verge of a paradigm that was bigger than anyone had ever known.