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  • Writer's pictureJoel Elliott Mooneyhan

Songs Through Advent: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Reprise)

"Mild, He lays His glories by,

Born that we no more may die,

Born to raise us from the earth,

Born to give us second birth;

Hark! The herald angels sing:

'Glory to the Newborn King!'"

"He's the boy who was born in that stable during the census."

"Weren't their only visitors a few rowdy shepherds?"

"Isn't his dad the carpenter?"

"That's the bastard of that girl who ran around on her fiancee."

No other story starts like this one. Gods of myths do not do things beneath their dignity. They come down in storms and up through earthquakes and roll in on violent seas and make themselves known to everyone right away. They meddle with humanity, they play cruel tricks, they drive division, the encourage conflict.

They elevate heroes and warriors, they champion great nations, they beat down the weak, they crush the vulnerable.

They don't do the things we read about in Advent.

Yahweh comes quietly in the still of night to a crowded stable to a people with no hope. He comes to conquer our hearts on a mission of peace. He comes in the expectant joy of a new birth.

The Lord leads foreigners to come and worship him. He calls on shepherds to proclaim His arrival. He chooses an unmarried couple to be His parents.

The Almighty becomes lowly.

The King becomes a subject.

The Word becomes flesh.

There is no dignity in God's love.

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