It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
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 heaven’s all gracious King”:
The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.
From the Old Testament, Isaiah prophesied that the Lord God would come to live among us on earth, Immanuel. The exact time of his arrival was not revealed in this prophecy. However, a few signs were described. God would arrive as an infant boy having been carried and birthed by a betrothed woman. When will God arrive?
Christ’s incarnate arrival on earth was in a lowly setting, a stable surrounded by farm animals, on a quiet, clear starry night in Bethlehem. His earthly parents were a young, modest couple, Mary and Joseph.
God announced Jesus’ arrival by having an angel accompanied by a host of angels who heralded this good news by conducting a magnificent celestial concert. This remarkable visual and musical announcement was witnessed by an unlikely group of common shepherds who were watching and caring for their herd of sheep in the middle of that clear, starry night in the fields outside Bethlehem. Imagine the shock, surprise and wonder experienced by those meek boys! Imagine how you would feel witnessing such a heavenly presentation.
God’s gift of love to everyone for all time was for peace and goodwill. Jesus Christ would grow up to go on to explain and delineate the path for receiving God’s gift of salvation and everlasting life, for all. It is now up to you and me to choose to receive God’s gift.
Our Christmas carol, “It Came upon the Midnight Clear” reminds us of how God chose to first publicly announce the fulfillment of God’s ultimate loving gift to us all.
— Richard Beavers