Listen up! Attention please! Alert!
I am sure you have sung “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing:” Most people who sing it never stop to look at the words closely. They think there is a comma after “Hark” but it is really an explanation point. It is not a word to take up a gap in the beat. It is a declaration that you are supposed to sit up and take notice.
Of course if the sky were full of real angels we would probably harken, unless we had our ear buds on and were beboping down the sidewalk to some tunes. The shepherds in the field the first Christmas didn’t have that kind of distraction. They paid attention.
The first three lines of the Christmas carol are happy thoughts. Anyone can sing them if they don’t think too much but the fourth line is the first message that demands to be canceled.
“God and sinners reconciled”Why is that a problem? Well, just who are these sinners they are talking about? Modern thinkers have established that man is born pure and would be quite satisfactory if it were not for the oppression heaped on them by things like European cultural assumptions. The man in the street needs to be sheltered from such heinous statements. How dare Christians imply that someone might be a sinner?
Actually, it isn’t Christians who imply it. It is God who declares it.
(Rom 3:23 KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;Don’t look at me. Look at God. And while you are looking you might want to listen. If there are no sinners then there was no reason for the Angels to be singing because no one needed to be reconciled to God.
But they did and we do.
That is why you hear these songss less and less, even in church.
homo unius libri