ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY
Realms of Glory, have you ever thought about just that part of the hymn? The Realms of Glory. I think we, sometimes, lose the fact that Jesus and the angels came from another place. From a “Supernatural” place. Have you ever thought of it in that way… Supernatural? Would the shepherds have thought “Supernatural?” Or did they realize there was even such a thing? They surely had to wonder what was going on!
To begin with let’s take a look at some Worship in heaven.
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise him in the heights above.
2 Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he commanded and they were created.
He set them in place for ever and ever;
he gave a decree that will never pass away.
Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
I wonder what that would sound like with so many angels, a myriad times a myriad. An unknowable number times an unknowable number. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir would be embarrassed.
Imagine, simple shepherds, keeping their flock in the fields around Bethlehem. It was not the richest part of the nation, and shepherds are the lowliest of society. You would think the announcement would be given to a more important part of society. But that is not the way it was with the coming of Jesus Christ. He had just left the Realms of Glory and came to lie in a Manger. A lowly Manger. No high society, no kings, no special trappings of an important office, a lowly Manger.
The Angels from the Realms of Glory might have been saved for a more important coming… but there was no more important coming anytime soon. In fact, there was no more important coming of anyone at any time past or future. The arrival of Jesus Christ meant nothing less than Salvation for the whole Creation. Why would you not send Angels?
The words to the song Angels from the Realms of Glory were written by James Montgomery in 1816. The music was added to the poem in 1867 by Henry T. Smart. It has always fascinated me that hymns written so long ago still have their original meaning and message after all these years. The only reason I can think of that would do that is that they are inspired writings. Not the type of inspired writing you find in the Holy Bible, but they are inspired just the same. Inspired to inspire us during this season. So, why not sing them year ‘round? We might just have to do that from time-to-time.
One line says, ye who sang Creation’s story. At the birth of Creation, of everything we know of and can and cannot see, the Angels sang.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm. He said: 2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? 3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone — 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
The very angels who sang and shouted at the birth of Creation also sang at the birth of our Messiah. The Shepherds were the most blessed of anyone who might have arrived at Jesus bedside that night.
I pray we are all blessed in this Season of Advent. Let us all realize the Gift we have been given. Bostwick UMC 12/6/20