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December 25, 2021 1:00 pm
You pick up your Bible and one is more here than meets the is there something here for me. I mean it's just words printed on paper right it may look like just print on the page but it's more than Inc. join us for the next half hour, as we explore God's word together as we learn how to explore it on our as we ask God to meet us there in its pages welcome to more than hi and see what was Harold yahoo is here. Harold is all I was wonder that as a kid. What this famous Carol today were to look at this wonderful Christmas morning and talk about the newborn King. Today I'm on more than Inc. well, Merry Christmas to you Mary, this episode is airing right on Christmas day and and by the way, I'd be curious if you're listening to this right now on Christmas day. Could you could you drop us a note go to more than Inc.org and just tell us you know I don't know, but we decided to to take a detour around Exodus just for the day because it is Christmas day this is December 25 and to to look look at one of our favorite Christmas carols.
Hark the Herald Angels Sing and look at the biblical content and and like I said last week. This in my book. I mean in my book, has the most theology packed in the fewest number of lines of any Carol that we sing, I think, and so there we didn't say that we are here in our dining room table like we always are. We are enjoying a quiet morning. Plaintiff morning. I think the older that I get more contemplative and quiet.
I have become toward Christmases is the significance of entering humanity has penetrated me more deeply in recent years because all of our kids have grown up in left so we tend to have feelings holidays exactly and that's just fine with us just really fine.
So so jealous take a look at the Hark the Herald Angels Sing will take a look at these word by the way, is not is is not a an accident that there's so much theology packed and this is written by Charles Wesley get you did little reading and I went back to remind myself I remember he was his younger brother John Wesley and the two Wesley brothers did a lot together in the early 18th century affect the life of Charles Wesley wrote this song. You know he is his adult life is around the time of our the Revolutionary war. So he he died about 10 years after the Revolutionary war, but he is in England and he and his brother had profound conversion experiences coming to the Lord in their early 20s and and as a result ended up traveling much of England talking even genetically about who Jesus is and and so John Wesley is the one who started the Methodist movement actually Methodism was a criticism that for analog get them because they said you guys are just just too disciplined when it comes to reading the word in an and living this life well disciplined and structured.
There were behaviors that they expected imposed upon people who follow their way of worship yeah and they saw following Jesus as the word Reese today is very intentional. Right is not something that just conflicts around the edges.
It's at the core so that that was John and Charles Wesley and Charles Wesley went on to write over 6000 hymns, most of which I was raised on because I lapped René at Wesley Methodist Church Wesley others that may not have so a lot of that Wesley brothers hymns were things that I cut my teeth on his child. Although I didn't know God's days. I was still singing all that theology.
Yeah, lots of theology deep theology so so we come to Hark the Herald Angels Sing and and we see that theology poked out. This is the result of the life of a man who actually he he converted to the Lord just 10 years before he wrote this so as a middle-age man. He did this just bubbled out of his life. Okay so this does more than poke out this plea ingrained in his thought patterns that that Scripture from across the entire Bible gets washed through his thinking forms, poetry, singable metric hymnal.
Poetry always astonished me.
There are some artists today to have that same gift and I'm always amazed at the power of the words that they right yeah and in an illiterate culture.
It was very handy for in terms of people to understanding treatment 15 study knowledge and that you teach theology to grasp it and also the carried around very portably so it's it's a great way to to do just that and do that to you. I encourage you if you never memorize the words to this song are you never sung more than the first verse you need to theology gets deeper and more profound as the verses progress, so let's dive into okay. Say we got three versus and then the original was three versus and it was the opening couple lines were slightly changed over a couple decades a parcel because one word when out of use well can welcome yet he reserve Hark how all the Welk in rings and nobody knows what welcome is. That means I can have the heavenly and archaic word for the expanse of the heavens where the stars are yeah yeah so by the time you get after a revolution that had changed and finally get stuck in place.
The words got today so shall we just read the let's read a verse at a time. Verse okay verse one. Go forth. Hark the Herald Angels Sing glory to the newborn King piece under mercy, mild God and sinners reconciled joyful, all ye nations rise join the triumph of the skies. With the angelic host proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem. Hark the Herald Angels Sing glory to the new king. Yes, now when I was a kid I used to think it was Herald Angels right like is like one word Hark the Herald Angels Sing. What is the Herald Angels bite the Herald and Angel is a messenger Herald and announcer early messenger like blowing Herald pay attention to this. Yes, the first the first messengers are the real message.
I always thought it was Herald's name Harold and I always wondered who is this guy Herald and who were angels and I don't know about Angel named Harold I know Michael and I gave you but I don't know Harold well pleased that Bobby, the whole count from Luke to about the Angels coming bursting upon seeing shepherds is is amazing to me and this first first of Wesley. Sam is largely just dies and looks to its Luke to and about that entire scene about the Angels coming in saying what they say glory. When not using glue to the newborn King. They don't.
But today I have good news today is born for you right king right for you humble shepherds for you nobodies out here in the dark and they and they say you know it is born.
To this day in the city of David a Savior.
When I got kinda brings the cumulus to it because I knew that a king would come through David's line and that's exactly what happens here.
Yeah and and what you make. I think something is really grossly misunderstood his license piece on the IRS. So what was the promise of peace. Anyway you like to talk about all piece that's on there is a peaceful Christmas is the promise of peace with God.
Right reconciled with God, which only happened through the person of his son, and human so you know Jesus himself said in Matthew 1034 I am come to bring peace. I came to bring a sword right. The whole world will find over one. Jesus himself will be divisive, depending on how you think he is so that the peace that God is bringing to earth at the birth of our Savior is is the way to peace with God right exactly and many times and you see peace here. It strongly implies a cessation of warfare. Not just kind of zoned output or cessation, warfare, and there was actually before you come to the Lord. There is there is a war between you and got it turned out, and so when this piece happens. It's kind of a cessation of the division between you and God. That then that and narrowing the distance between the two of you. Because of this, appoint nature he had with God. So you're in a recent Colossians 1 1920 in front of me and it's at the end of all you should Christ.
Verse 19 says, for it was the father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in him right there. We have the pleasure God dwelling completely in the sun and through him to file all things to himself having me peace through the blood of his cross.
Through him I say when he things on earth are things that happen only when we have access to peace with God is through that sacrificial death right sun right and so if you if you realize that this is something Christ buys with his blood pro something that God accomplishes and something that draws us near to God that when you read the actual words of what the angel said in front of me. It's interesting. It goes against some of the more cultural interpretation to the peace on earth, maybe just listen to it closely. This is from Luke 214 so glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased. That's a wholly different design ideas.
Yeah, just as under center or God is blessing you because he's happy with you right well we know that faith is what pleases God. Yes. Yes. So God's favor is being poured out on those who believe yeah promise yeah and and the result is a relationship with God. That's why love when when Wesley writes this peace on earth and mercy, but he explains in the neck) God and sinners reconciled absolute where the peace comes from. Yeah, that's the piece that's a nice definition. I like how you have that on to that and it's all also not just intended for the nation of Israel for the Hebrews is intended for everyone.
So Wesley adds, you know, all ye nations rise all cases right and that's also in what the with the Angels and said so clearly this is a promise accrues to all mankind, but it's a promise of peace that is that is founded and centered on a restored and redeemed relationship with God is only made possible through the sacrifice of his son exactly answer that's why that's why the Angels are so excited. This one is this one. Jesus is the one that makes this all this is the pivot point of all history right so so born in the city of David a Savior, a Savior, who is the Messiah, the promised one, the one who would rule the one who would bring together mankind in relationship with God. So glory working. Listen, this is a big big deal oriented his drinking. We need an expert next verse I love this version I read this one sure all to know that you read the last is awesome. This is pretty good to Christ by highest heaven adored price. The everlasting Lord laid in time behold him come offspring of a virgin's womb veiled in flesh the Godhead see hail the incarnate deity, pleased as man with man to dwell Jesus our Emmanuelle. Hark the Herald Angels Sing glory to the newborn King. Looks like the incarnation to me only, so this when I come to sing this verse it stops me in my tracks every single time distillation of of God becoming humanity in this beautiful poetic form on the line that always stops me is veiled in the flail hands and incarnate deity for veiled in flesh. I have thought a lot about that veil a lot. This is not just weird language.
The idea of the veil in the Scriptures is actually a really significant one. We know that the purpose of the veil in the temple was to set rate the holy of holies, from the holy place, but veil can conceal something, but it also can reveal something yes so are and it also defines the past, such okay so you go moving from one place into another, if you think about veil revealing something. Think about how the filter in your sunglasses works it cuts down the glare so you can see what's really there. Yes, that's exactly what happened when the son of God became human flesh. He laid aside his glory, to make the invisible God visible. John says in the beginning of John one right.
The word became flesh and dwelt among us. When we beheld his glory as of the only begotten from the father full of grace and truth.
And then he goes on to say in verse 16, 17 and 18. The law was given through Moses, grace and truth were realized brought into reality by Jesus Christ.
No man has seen God at any time. Only begotten God is in the bosom of the father. He has explained, yes, yes he has made God knowable, so that's why that's why Wesley's line is so good veiled in flesh the Godhead see it enables us to see who God is and if you remember at the Last Supper in that upper room conversation that Jesus had the last night it is.
They ask him. The Lord just show us the father and he sent it again. It if you see me use you see the father exactly. It occurs to me to and I didn't look it up. Shame on me, and Hebrews. It talks about the I had to look it up.
And yes, it's a start. Is Hebrews 1019… Love their brethren. We have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way which he inaugurated for us through the veil, that is his flesh. Let us draw near with a sincere heart. I will leave the rest of the passage, but that idea that his flash was the veil that was torn open the way for us to come into the holy presence of God right that fulfills our understanding of the veil in Scripture from Exodus, which were talking about now right all the way back to Hebrews when we were talking about that a few weeks ago yeah defines the passageway into the presence of God, right, and that's done through his flesh. Yeah that's it so veiled in flesh the Godhead see the sink. Look at Jesus hail the incarnate deity and incarnate in in its no etymology just means flashlight made a flashlight right so by another one. Another part I liked about it just before this late in time behold I am, right skipped out and I know LSK recounted jump. I was so anxious to get laid in time late in time. What is the late or is he on time is actually on time, but it made me go back to your looking that Hebrews the opening of Hebrews is opening chapter 1 he says you know you know God has spoken to us of the prophets, but in these last days.
All he has spoken to us in his son. So so yeah it is the last days when the Messiah comes in the flesh. That's the beginning of the last days and we are still in those last days but they were they were started in the coming of the birth of Jesus. This is the beginning of the end. Now is the day of salvation that I was late. Yeah. So that's it. And when he says laden time in offspring of the virgins room with that's from a very famous prophecy. So it's that was prophesied and it's going to happen in a particular date on the calendar and it did. And it's during this last time, and that famous passages Isaiah 714 Virgin conceal virgin will conceive and bear a son yeah and it was it was such a big deal that if you recall, Mary and Joseph when they're being brought into the story by Gabriel about what's going to happen.
Mary gets she gets a direct visit with Gabriel and he explained to her.
Joseph never gets a direct 50 yeah like for dreams, actually.
But in but in one of those dreams this passage in Isaiah 7 is reiterated again so that in that in that dream. He says this is exactly the fulfillment of Isaiah 714. Virgin shall conceive and guess what Mary is that virgin so it's so this is a pre-plan on God's part that comes about. At exactly the right time at the beginning of the end of times. The last days.
So that's what you may God with that's a fascinating me that's in the Isaiah 7 thing and that's how that's how Wesley closes off this verse right here, you know, pleases, men with men to dwell with man to dwell Jesus are Immanuel and Immanuel means God with God with it has always been God's intention very beginning of Scripture very right. He made Adam and Eve to dwell with him in the garden when the fellowship was broken by the time we come around to Exodus working to get to this and in a few weeks that says I want to dwell with you right in your mid and so even the way the nation of Israel camped in the wilderness was a model of that the tabernacle right in the middle of the God wanted to have a physical's physical representation of the effect of his desire might be to was to be among some random little on the mung got out with us. Yeah.
And even when you see Jesus close to the time is drawn back up into heaven, you know, he talks about the many that my father's house are many places to live because I want to be with me this though with idea so so that the whole idea of coming in finding peace with God which REIT which is the center of that is our relationship with God is still with God part that's all it that the entire Bible is about relationship with God. Sometimes we think that were going to go and be with God. We go to heaven, but he knew rightly took the initiative and he came to be with us first.
Yeah that's exactly right. He came he came and got us was one of the third were okay so I get to read you get to read okay hail the heaven born Prince of peace. Hail the Sun of righteousness light and life to all he brings risen with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of our born to give them second birth.
Hark the Herald Angels Sing glory to the new born king. Oh my goodness did the first half of this comes directly out of Malachi 3, Malachi 442 Salome, I just had my my page up to the wrong place for it's so beautiful as whole versus sometimes we see in that second line hail the Sun of righteousness spelled SO and that is an incorrect quotation as the sun asked you of righteousness. Let's read Malachi 4. Do you have a friend I have it in front of me. You think you talking a lot. This is God speaking.
The first person, but for you who fear my name the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in its wings. And you shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.
I just have always calves jump around like this is never yeah you refer my name the Sun of righteousness SU in righteousness shall rise like a sunrise with healing in its wing right and and Wesley decided to use the play on words SON, which is fine. It's exactly the same. Well yes, it means the same thing, but the imagery of the sun rising is a new day, new light, and even Peter uses in one of his letters imagery of the MorningStar writing days running as we step into the light of relationship with God.
Yeah that's really the imagery here is so all yeah and that very that very famous proclamation of the father of John the Baptist. You know when he gets his tongue back as I cry Zechariah yeah I'm got them, turning to write notes at the end of Luke one and in this whole this whole imagery of the sunrise like a new day is dawning is part of this proclamation that you know he's filled with the God spirit and this is really God speaking through him, and why my having a problem, for there is Luke 178 because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us Frank hi, it's just an end to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. So that's it.that that's it. It's a new day just like a sunrise is this is a brand-new day for all of humanity with the birth of the Prince of peace and healing in his wings will not imagery for Malachi, you know, it's the idea that when the sun peeks over the edge of the horizon, those rays give the impression wing. Yes, that's the picture. It's very visual is very visual but it also implies strong the fact that the where the light is landing is on the people that need healing that neither the problem here and that's that's also part of what Zacharias says about this tender mercy of God and that the you know this light will shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death will they do have a problem. I may have a need in the sunrise is the beginning of the fix for the yeah the imagery is just great, so that the birth of Jesus is like a gigantic sunrise dealing with healing for mankind. That will result in peace through the blood of the Savior, and then relationship with God.
Oh what is just too much to talk about this first two well okay but mild he lays his glory by you right that's that that's a reference to Philippians 2 I think we says no. He was God. He didn't regard being God is something to be grasped and made us sign all of his rights and privileges in order to become human. So I'm paraphrasing right as you go and read Philippians 2 starting in about verse five and read clear through where it winds up but every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord God the father. That's when he laid aside in order to come become human, for the purpose of gaining for us. Like Wesley says right after that right born that man no more may die right eternal life right us and who who were those born to raise the sons of earth born to give them a second birthright start over. A new start, a new spiritual birth of Jesus, and you must born again seeking yeah yeah exactly failed to mention to the beginning.
This hail ever more Prince of peace. Another famous Christmas passage in Isaiah Isaiah 996, the Prince of peace, the Prince of peace. The one who makes it happen so many, son of righteousness sees that he's the righteous one, very clearly there's that's everywhere in Scripture.
So delete too much of that we are just like running out of time.
I will encourage you if you be listing today to take a quiet moment sometime and harm your way through this with the words in front of you and use your own words to respond and worship with using this model. This is such a creative collection of powerful truth on Wesley's part. It's a it's a it's a great way to meditate on the truth.
Where we are with God why Jesus was born on this Christmas morning.
We were so distracted by what you have breakfast stuff member.
The fact that this is the sunrise from on this is the sunrise with healing in his solved problem darkness and the shadow is the best seminarian, Mary Christmas to you all back to Exodus and showing the story again of the great rescue of not unlike the great rescue of us next week is mainstream church is solely responsible to contact us with your questions or comments. Well, what I think. Think