Angels, from the realms of glory
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:9-14 NLT
It all happened with dramatic quickness. All was quiet and in one moment, the silence was broken. It was unusual, for always it was heard during the night are the voices of the shepherds taking turns watching their sheep. Then all of a sudden, an angel of the Lord, holy, brilliant, stood by them. They had not seen him come. Simultaneously was the appearance of the glory of the Lord—heavenly brightness, rightly regarded as the manifestation of God’s presence and power—flashed all around them. It is not surprising to read that the shepherds “were terrified.” Because of the nature of their work, they were outcast and like anybody else, they were sinners, and what they now experienced had come upon them unexpectedly. The angel’s exhortation, “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.” The good news is that of the gospel; the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. And what a greater joy could there be than the realization that through the sacrifice of God’s own and only Son, had brought about the solution of the world’s greatest problem, which is sin. The Lord Jesus Christ being born in the flesh is the first step to the accomplishment of God’s solution. Regardless of nationality, the salvation is for “all the people.” The promise of salvation by grace through faith must be proclaimed throughout the world, and the resulting surrender to Christ’s lordship will bring about “great joy.” As a believer in Christ, Christmas should remind us that God is worthy of our praise for He provided us salvation. Our lives should express the worship God deserves. This is what prompted James Montgomery to write the hymn, “Angels, from the realms of glory.” The hymn addresses in the first stanza the angelic chorus, then the shepherds in the second stanza, the wise men in the third, and finally the call to today’s believers to worship Christ our King. Worship is the very spirit of the entire Christmas story. In these times of uncertainties, may we find the time to pause and in our busy lives, worship our Christ the King.
“Angels, from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth; ye who sang creation’s story, now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
Shepherds, in the fields abiding, watching o’er your flocks by night, God with man is now residing; yonder shines the infant Light:
Sages, leave your contemplations, brighter visions beam afar; seek the great desire of nations; ye have seen His natal star:
Saints before the altar bending, watching long in hope and fear, suddenly the Lord, descending, in His temple shall appear:
Refrain: Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the new-born King.”