#WorshipWednesday: “Angels We Have Heard On High”

written by Kait Raak

I mentioned before that Phil Wickham’s style easily invites me into a state of peaceful worship. This song is my favorite on the album and it brings up a lot of visuals for me as I like to close my eyes and take in the familiar words in a new way. Our current sermon series is all about encounters with Jesus, so I want to take us back to that first night, along with the shepherds, and make it personal. What would it be like: what would you feel to encounter the newborn Christ child if you were there? Join me on a journey in your mind’s eye…

When I close my eyes listening to this song, it’s easy for me to picture a navy night sky, and float along with softly falling snow on a chill December night. I feel a shiver on my arms. But this story isn’t set in our snow-globe vision of a white Christmas.

Instead…

Can you see the dark night in a rocky land with hilly terrain and low vegetation; Bethlehem city in the distance? Only… it’s not so very dark tonight. It’s strangely bright from the light of that mysterious star. You know that star has to mean something, but you don’t understand. It’s appearance and position is mystifying and thrilling. You’re grateful for the extra light and peaceful night of routine sheep tending. Little do you know it’s about to get much brighter. You see and hear angels on high. I still can’t imagine what that must have been like. They bid you, “Come to Bethlehem and see…”

You and your companions are baffled, yet compelled, by the angels’ message, and you make your way to the city under the starlight; the meaning of which suddenly becomes clear to you. You’re not really sure what to expect, or why you’re invited.
You, the least of these, have been summoned via heavenly host to be among the first to meet the one true King: God with us. A Savior is born. Messiah.
You don’t feel the weariness from a steady pace to and through the city. You’re unbothered by confused responses when you ask around for the place you are looking for. The light continues showing the way to the Light.

Then…
There it is. A stable. A girl. A manger.
(as the music gets quiet…)
There He is.
Fresh as can be.
A miracle in a barn.

You cannot help but worship. Gloria in excelsis Deo! Glory to God in the highest!
Glory to God who made Himself the lowest. We don’t deserve to be here, but for us He came, and we’ll never be the same.

May encountering Jesus bring you awe, hope, peace, and trust in His abundant love, mercy, and provision. May you let Him change your life.

Faith & grace to you this Christmas,
~ Kait

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