Great Hymns – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Written by: Steve Dalton and Ricky Spears Recorded by: Justin Dalton
If you are anything like me, you love Christmas. And one of the best parts of Christmas are the Christmas carols. There are so many beautiful, meaningful worship songs of Christmas. Many Christmas carols transport us to a time in our life, maybe a wonderful childhood memory. Sometimes we find ourselves in a painful place as the song takes our mind to painful times, or great times that are no more.
My favorite carols are the ones which transport my mind to a stable in Bethlehem and remind me of powerful theological truths. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” is a Christmas carol which does this very effectively.
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” was written by the great hymn writer Charles Wesley in 1739. Almost twenty years later Wesley’s friend George Whitfield made some changes to the lyrics. George Whitfield is considered one of the greatest preachers of all time and was at the center of the revival now known as the Great Awakening. He had a fascinating life and a very interesting relationship with Charles Wesley and his brother John. (If you would like to learn more I encourage you to read George Whitefield: God's Anointed Servant in the Great Revival of the Eighteenth Century.) In recent years Whitfield’s version has been edited to the version we hear today. In this meditation on “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” we will meditate on three verses from the Whitfield version and Bible passages which came to my mind as I meditated on the lyrics.