It’s funny how relevant songs can be, if we think about it. If we really look at the words, and don’t just dismiss something because, “That’s just an old hymn – has no relevance to my modern life.” Or, “That’s just a modern worship song – has no depth or substance to reach my current life.” Or, “That’s classic rock & roll – meets me where I’m at every time.”
Don’t make that face at me – you know it’s true.
We’ll take the words of the songs we grew up with, singing (badly) along (loudly) with the radio (or 8 track) and belt out every one of them, and then get all snitty when presented with a song that’s outside our “normal” in church. And we’ll quickly dismiss it as “too shallow,” “too old,” “too repetitive,” “archaic language,” or all the other poopy we roll out with to critique just about anything these days.
So, set that aside for a moment, kiddos, and read through these verses. All five. No skipping, no eye-rolling (except back and forth from reading, of course…), no nothing except taking time to think about the words. Then riddle me this, saddlepals –
Am I the only one who finds these words have a distinctive 2020 flair to them? Couldn’t I take these thoughts, from a former generation, and use them as a launching point to express some of my own frustration and longing here and now? I’m on day 9 or 10 or so of my 20 day Rona exile, and these words are meeting me right here and now.
“Look now! for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing. Oh, rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing!”
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, good will to men,
From Heav’n’s 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 heav’nly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hov’ring 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;
Oh, 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.
Oh, rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!
For lo! the days are hast’ning on,
By prophet seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold
When Christ shall come and all shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And saints shall meet Him in the air,
And with the angels sing.
– Edmund H. Sears