December 22, 2018

Angels We Have Heard on High

United Methodist Hymnal – #238

What the gladsome tidings be

which inspire your heavenly song.


“Tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.” Those familiar words from the Nativity story as told by St. Luke, are committed to so many of our hearts, that we could recite it in total, much like the Lord’s Prayer, or the 23rd Psalm. A host of angels appears above the Galilean countryside, resplendent, announcing the birth of Jesus. (I have a recording of a Welsh carol, sung by a Welsh women’s choir, that I’ve decided must be what the angels sounded like.) We’re told the shepherds were “sore afraid”, but I wonder if today we would even notice. Our world has become so inundated with noise/music that we are pretty much oblivious. Everywhere from McDonalds to Costco to the gas station blares out the latest tunes. There’s even a science that determines what kind of music can actually make people more apt to spend money, or eat faster. In a Washington D.C. subway station, renowned violinist Joshua Bell, posing as a busker, played his violin for a couple hours at rush hour. Actually playing the repertoire he had played in concert the night before (with tickets costing several hundred dollars each), and yet no one stopped to listen. In fact only a couple people, one of them a child, bothered to drop a coin into his open case. We have become immune to beauty. In this amazing world, how much do we miss every day? We should make a resolution, right now, to heighten our senses and fully experience the amazing beauty all around us!


And God saw everything that he had made,

and, behold, it was very good.



Creator God, we marvel at your world, the beauty of your creation. But so often, God, our schedules and commitments blind us to our surroundings. During this season, make us more aware, more open to the magnificence around us. Help us recognize your hand in the art we see, the music we hear, and the world we experience. Fill our hearts with the desire for beauty.  Amen.

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