It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold!
Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From heaven’s all gracious King!
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing.
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world hath suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.
And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing,
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the Age of Gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And all the world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.
by Edmund Sears
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear was written in 1849 by a Pastor in Wayland, Massachusetts named Edmund Sears. Some say these words were penned at the request of a friend. Whether or not that is true I can say that I am grateful for their poignancy today. Without fail, listening to this song stirs in me the desire to stand in that midnight clear with the angels. My soul aches to shed the trappings of this world and simply hear the the celebration of Jesus’ birth the way God intended it. How sad and how beautiful is the story this song tells. Even more than that, how familiar. This song describes a weary world full of sin, strife and two thousand years of long suffering. Not surprisingly, this world doesn’t hear the love song which the angels bring to us over the noise of its Babel. BUT WAIT! God gives us so many invitations calling us out of the Babel!
Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.
He says, Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you. |
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for ALL the people.
We can rest beside the weary road, we can step into the midnight clear, we can kneel in our hearts at the foot of the manger. And there my friends, until all the world gives back the song, we can hear the angels sing.