This is an interesting song sung around Christmas. Often I read the scripture and then the song devotion for it. I searched long and hard for the history of the song and more of what it sings. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear has made it clear that their wasn't too much for history behind the song, why it was written other than who wrote it and the year.
We all know the book of Revelation talks alot about getting ready for the 2nd coming of Christ. I was simply puzzled why some verses was picked from Revelation for this song, not that it can't be. It dose point to Jesus being born for sure that He has come to change the world and a place for us to be, but I think this song means abit more of Christ's birth. When this song was written is it supose to prophesy something for futture? I don't know, I know it says there we're angels telling the good news to the sheperds to tell the people.
Near the end of the song it seems to make some sense as why the lyrics match and the rest of the song leading up to it. If you read some verses in Revelation 21 and dig a little deeper into the song on some lyrics you may see something interesting. They often say to read a poem, passage, story, verse etc. 2x to see what its meaning!
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
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.
When the angels first sang about peace on earth and goodwill to all men, the shepherds must have wondered what was going on. They certainly didn’t hear angelic choirs everyday, and first century Palestine was hardly a peaceful place. The streets buzzed with rumors of revolution and the tension often boiled over into violence. Society was split along lines of gender, race, wealth, and religion. The shepherds themselves were only a few rungs above beggars on the social ladder. For some of us, Christmas itself is a time to be with friends and family, but for others it reminds us that we are alone or separated from loved ones. Two thousand years later, we seem to be as far as ever from “heaven on earth.”
Many people in the first century were expecting a quick fix for the world’s problems, and of course that didn’t happen. It still hasn’t happened. But Christmas reminds us of God’s promise to bring in a kingdom where wars, injustice, and even death will be a thing of the past, and where we will live together with God. That’s our hope. God does have a plan. The best really is to come.
In the meantime, God continues to show His love to us in so many ways. He provides for our needs. He answers our prayers. He invites us to start living today like citizens of the kingdom that has not yet been fully revealed. We can love one another as Christ loved us here and now. We can show His compassion and His unconditional love to others today. We can experience a foretaste of the new Heaven and earth right now. We can share that experience with others. And we can do all this in the knowledge that God’s Kingdom will prevail and that the whole of creation will one day see the truth that those shepherds heard on a remote, Palestinian hillside.
What's one thing could you change to give those around you a foretaste of God’s Kingdom of peace?
To tell others about Christ the best way we can. If there's an opertunity to share we need to try and take that chance. Even if it's as simple as I'll pray for you, praying with them, for them, maybe even saying Merry Christmas when your around someone or chillaxing. Time is short and someday there won't be any.