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 has 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!
These rarely sung stanzas from the familiar carol, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” speak volumes as we navigate the current environment of our world. We must ask ourselves the question, “Was the midnight really so clear when the angels made their glorious announcement to the shepherds or were their praises a prophetic proclamation of a futuristic promise?
Harsh Roman oppression. Crowded streets with strangers, looking for a place to rest. Foreigners forced to respond to the government’s demand for a census. Hurting humanity hungering for a word of hope from the true and living God, whose voice had been silent for 400 years. All of that sounds more like a dark night than a clear one.
Yes, a Savior had been born. He was and is Christ the Lord, but have we fully experienced the peace on earth that Messiah longs to usher into our lives? This prompts a prayer. Would you like to join me?
Father, thank you for the indescribable gift of Your Son, who came into our world of woe to free us from our sin and strife. Forgive us for our constant warring and babbling that prevents us from hearing Your love song, which blessed angels still sing to those who will be silent and listen.
We pray for those who are struggling beneath life’s crushing load of sickness, loss, and grief. Christ, just as you loosed the woman who had been bent over for 18 years and freed her from her weakness and infirmity (Luke 13:10–17), would you please deliver those with painful, slow steps today?
Holy Spirit, reveal to us the way of peace and the places to rest beside our weary roads, so that we may not only hear but join with the angels in singing and proclaiming peace on earth to all who will embrace true peace, which brings favor with God and humankind.