Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hymn of the Week: Angels from the Realms of Glory

These words were first published by one James Montgomery on Christmas Eve of 1816. As with many hymns, there are more original stanzas to the lyrics than are contained in most hymnals. An additional verse was written in 1855 by Isaac Gregory Smith.

Notice the refrain: "Come and worship...Christ, the newborn King." This is at the heart of Christmas: That Christ, the King of the Universe, was born in a lowly manger—but He was born to be worshiped. Not merely admired, nor respected, nor eulogized—He is to be worshiped. The angels do it; the saints in heaven do it; do we?

Let us worship Him this Christmas season.

Angels from the Realms of Glory

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.


Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Shepherds, in the field abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us 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.


Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes the sentence,
Mercy calls you; break your chains.


Though an Infant now we view Him,
He shall fill His Father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down:


All creation, join in praising
God, the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore your voices raising
To th’eternal Three in One.


Note: In place of the verse “Sin­ners, wrung with true re­pent­ance…” some hymn­als use the fol­low­ing, writ­ten in 1855 by Isaac Greg­o­ry Smith:

Lord of Heaven, we adore Thee,
God the Father, God the Son,
God the Spirit, One in glory,
On the same eternal throne.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Lord of Heaven, Three in One.

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