Written by Lise Caldwell
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.
I’ve never noticed before how many Christmas carols celebrate Christ’s first coming while anticipating his second coming. I wanted particularly to share the third verse of this carol, but I thought it would be most meaningful in the context of the entire song. Most of us do not labor beneath a load that is physically crushing, as our ancestors may have done. But the burdens of stress, shame, anxiety, debt, fear and emotional wounds are just as difficult to bear–if not more so. The Lord longs to comfort you, but the “Babel sounds” of this world can drown out his voice if we do not intentionally listen. If this moment is a burdensome one for you, take time to “send back the song” of the angels, by praising the one for whom they sing.