Angels We Have Heard on High

I want to spend some time this Advent Season really thinking through some of the Christmas songs/hymns that we hear so often during this time of the year.  First up: Angels We Have Heard on High.

The song was originally written in French, not English, so some of the original song’s emphases were lost in translation in order to keep up the rhyme-scheme since it’s a song.  Here’s a translation of the song (it is a little different than we’re used to, but I like it):

1. Angels we have heard on high
Singing sweetly through the night,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their brave delight.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

2. Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why these songs of happy cheer?
What the great brightness did you see?
What glad tidings did you hear?

3. Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

4. See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the angels praise above;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While we raise our hearts in love.

And here’s Relient K’s version:

Don’t run towards Christmas this year.  I know I usually do… like’s it’s running away from me or something.  Enjoy this season, and really try to imagine yourself as Mary or Joseph.  Imagine what it would’ve been like to see and talk to the angel Gabriel that Mary’s baby truly is the Son of God, born of a virgin.

Imagine what it would’ve been like to be one of those shepherds: an outcast of society whose testimony wasn’t even valid in court because your profession is considered so low, then all of a sudden out of nowhere a thousand angels brighten the sky and announce to YOU, of all people, that the Messiah has been born!  Imagine that.

Jesus Christ was born for normal people.  Just think about who was around him when he was born.  Common people who opened their stable to Mary & Joseph.  Hardworking shepherds.  Even Mary, who had likely become a social misfit because of the scandal of her pregnancy.  And Joseph, a carpenter who believed the angel’s message and willingly set himself up to be a laughing-stock among his peers by staying with Mary and even marrying her.  That’s who was around Jesus.  (The “Wise Men” came later, when Jesus was around two years old.)

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