An Advent Lesson – Sing Glory, Glory!

“We can all be angels to one another. We can choose to obey the still small stirring within, the little whisper that says, ‘Go. Ask. Reach out. Be an answer to someone’s plea. You have a part to play. Have faith.’ We can decide to risk that He is indeed there, watching, caring, cherishing us as we love and accept love. The world will be a better place for it. And wherever they are, the angels will dance.” ~ Joan Wester Anderson

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’ ~ Luke 2: 8-14

I love the Christmas hymn “Angels We Have Heard on High”, especially the refrain. In a posting by William C. Egan, Moderator, Christmas International Group at Yahoo.com on May 23, 2005, he shared these notes about this beloved hymn:

French legend tells us that shepherds in the country’s southern hills watching their flocks on Christmas Eve would call to each other across the fields and hills, singing the words “gloria in excelsis Deo,” which is Latin for “glory to God in the highest.”

The shepherds’ song, an imitation of the song of the angels as they announced the birth of Christ on the first Christmas Eve, came from a second-century Latin chorale made popular when Pope Telesphorus, the pontiff from 125 to 136, ordained that “gloria in excelsis Deo” be sung at midnight mass each Christmas Eve.

What struck me in these notes is that the shepherds’ song is an imitation of the song of the angels as they announce the birth of Christ. I want to be an imitator also. I want to sing “GLORY to God in the highest”! I want to imitate the angels and proclaim the birth of Christ, not just on Christmas Eve, but every day. More importantly, I want to imitate Christ – to be humble enough to serve the lowliest among us and to step out of my position of comfort.

Glory!

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.

Refrain
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

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