Greetings, everyone! I hope you are having a lovely Sunday, I am! So this year for Christmas, my mom is having each of us kids study a classic Christmas hymn. Mine is It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. I decided I would share a few of my thoughts on it with you all as it is that time of the year. 🙂
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, goodwill to men
From heavens 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.
O’ 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
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.
For lo the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.
Most people, including me, know the first stanza pretty well. But, I have never really focused on the words of the following stanzas, I didn’t grow up singing hymns at church so it wasn’t a large part of my life. I love many Christmas hymns, carols, and songs, but It Came Upon a Midnight Clear wasn’t one of those. In fact, for quite a while, I was mildly annoyed by it for some unnamed reason.
However, when I started going over the second through fourth stanzas I was a bit blown away. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear had so much more to it than I thought. I would imagine that if I were to look into more of the classic hymns I would find that to be a common theme.
One thing my mom also wanted us to do was specifically pick out the names of Jesus in our hymns. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear doesn’t have anywhere near as many names of Jesus as some other carols and hymns do, but it does have one instance of Prince of Peace (one of my favorites of Jesus’s names) and two uses of King.
I love that it speaks of two promises, covenants, prophesies-whatever you want to call them. The first promise is in the first three stanzas. This part speaks of Jesus’s birth. This is the fulfillment of many prophecies, hopes, years. I mean, think about it, the Jewish people have been waiting for HUNDREDS of years. This beautiful, precious baby is what their hope and faith has been resting on. How amazing is that?
Then, after the first three stanzas comes the fourth-cause it would be weird if the fifth came next, right? 😛 This one speaks of Jesus’s second coming, the new heaven and earth, and an eternity of peace and joy. I like this stanza best. Not because Jesus’s birth isn’t important or beautiful, but because an eternity of joy is ahead of me and I cannot wait! What a promise, am I right?
I am so glad I took the time to look over this song fully and with new eyes. It has beautiful meaning. Hopeful meaning. Meaning that matters!
What about y’all? What’s your favorite Christmas carol or hymn? Tell me all about it! I love to chat! 🙂