Monday, December 23, 2013

CHRISTMAS CAROLS: "Angels We Have Heard on High"

Here are the notes from the message at New Life Community Church on Sunday, December 22, 2013. This is the fourth in the series CHRISTMAS CAROLS and is entitled "Angels We Have Heard on High".  If you would like to listen to this message, you may do so by going to our website at  God bless!

Christmas Carols, Part 4                                                       Sunday, December 22, 2013
 “Angels We Have Heard on High”

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”  13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”  15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”   Luke 2:8-15 (NKJV)

Story of Angels We Have Heard on High.
In A.D. 129, Telesphous, Bishop of Rome, ordained that, "In the Holy Night of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior, all shall solemnly sing the 'Angel's Hymn.' " With that proclaimation the 'Angels Hymn' became the first Christmas hymn of the Christian church.

Fun Fact:

In medieval times, French shepherds had a Christmas Eve tradition of shouting "Gloria in excelsis Deo" to each other as they watched over their sheep flocks on their respective hills in southern France. That phrase is now famous as the chorus of 'Angels We Have Heard on High.'

Its most common English version was translated in 1862 by James Chadwick, and its most memorable feature is its chorus Gloria in Excelsis Deo!, which is Latin for Glory to God in the Highest.


People began to chant the phrase "Gloria in excelsis Deo" in Christmas Eve worship services as early as 130 A.D. Much later, in medieval times, a Latin chorale version may have inspired the traditional French Christmas carol 'Les Anges dans nos Campagnes,' which Edward Shippen Barnes used in the 1800s to arrange the first version of 'Angels We Have Heard on High'.
'Angels We Have Heard on High' was first published in English as part of an 1862 book called Crown of Jesus Music. But the version that has become popular worldwide was published later, in 1916, in the book Carols Old and Carols New.
Angels we have heard on high
Singing sweetly o'er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be,
Which inspire your heavenly song?
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo

Key Phrase:
Gloria, in excelsis Deo.

Gk.:  doxa comes from dokeo meaning “to think”.
1.      Opinion (what one thinks about himself)
2.      Reputation (what others think about him)
Fame or
Heb: kabod – “to be heavy”
To have substance.
1.      Riches or wealth
2.      Power
3.      Position
Glory always denotes manifestation of light.  So means God reveals Himself.

1.     God speaks to “NOBODIES”.
Why the shepherds?
1.      Reputation of shepherds
2.      The sheep they tended
27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. I Corinthians 1:276-29 (NLT)

2.     The HIGHEST good comes to the LOWEST places.

16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.  Luke 2:16-20 (NKJV)

3.     God always RELOCATES us.
Mary and Joseph – Nazareth to Bethlehem
Shepherds – fields to Bethlehem

Wise men

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