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During advent, I've been reading through O Come, All Ye Faithful, a book highlighting many traditional Christmas carols. Reading the carols rather than singing them helps me focus on the words and intent of the songs. For example, O Little Town of Bethlehem includes the phrase, "While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wond'ring love." I missed the meaning of that phrase previously. What must that have been like for the angels? Had God revealed to them what was to come? Rather, were they watching with eager anticipation to understand how Christ's time on earth would unfold?
In Hark the Herald Angels Sing, one of the authors describes the scene as "a full military exercise, not a few little kids skipping around on a stage with fluffy robes, coat-hanger wings, and tilting halos" (Tada, MacArthur, Wolgemuth, and Wolgemuth, 91). Herald angels are "a perfect symbol of might and power" (ibid, 91). These great creatures bore witness to God's and sinners' reconciliation. Charles Wesley penned the words,
"Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing, 'Glory to the newborn King.'"
In this season of anticipation, I also mourn Tim's departure from earth. This song reminds me that Christ's advent on earth led to our reconciliation with God; it led to Tim's second and eternal birth. We anticipate the day when we will celebrate together, alongside the herald angels.

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