Dec 09, 2019 • Written by Heidi Scott
Hark, Then Hurry: Advent Week One
Who doesn’t love an old-fashioned Christmas- a crackling fire in the fireplace, twinkling lights on the tree, something yummy in the oven, and favorite Christmas songs on repeat? I know I do! My music students have been working on Christmas songs for weeks now, and everyone loves the holiday cheer it brings into their homes.
One of my favorite carols is Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! I always get a kick out of asking my students— what does “hark” mean? It’s not a word we use anymore. According to the dictionary, “hark” means to listen, pay close attention, or listen intently. In the song, it means Hey! Everyone listen up! The angels are singing!
The back story comes from Luke Chapter 2. We’ve heard about the shepherds and seen them characterized as sweet little boys with snowy-white lambs frolicking on grassy green hills. The real story is much less glamorous: a dusty, dirty life, living out in the fields day and night, fair weather and foul, with a bunch of farm animals. Shepherds were marginalized people. They were considered lowly by society with no opportunity for advancement- a low wage job, taking care of other people’s stinkin’ stuff.
Luke tells us these shepherds were minding their own business in the fields when out of nowhere THE Angel of the Lord appeared to them. We don’t know what this angel really looks like, but he is so fierce that the first words he always says are, “DO NOT BE AFRAID!” Too late, dude. They were terrified. God’s intense, powerful angel shows up and the glory of the Lord is shown around them.
God’s leading angel tells them— the completely ordinary shepherds— there is good news for ALL people. Today. This day. Your Savior is here! Then, (I love this part!) the sky is filled with angels singing “Glory to God in the Highest.” Hark! Listen to what the angels are saying: Glory to God. Countless voices in praise. What a moment! What a worship service! Right there in the fields with the simple shepherds and those dirty, dumb sheep!
Can you imagine their reaction? Breathless wonder, praise, and awe. After collecting themselves they hurried to find this Savior God’s angel told them about. They dropped what they were doing and went to worship the newborn Lamb of God.
Let me ask you— What are you hurrying for? Perfectly chosen Christmas gifts expertly wrapped? Pinterest-worthy holiday décor? Parties planned to impress? Nailing your mother-in-law’s sugar cookie recipe?
Let’s take a cue from these guys- Hurry to the Savior. Don’t just add worship to your seasonal to-do list. Make room to adore Him. Drop something off the list to make room to Hurry to Him. Do less to love Him more.
The end of this story is the best part: after the shepherd’s time worshipping the King, they returned to their work with a skip in their step and a song of praise on their lips. I’m confident they saw everything in a new, lovely, holy perspective.
Because that’s what worship does. Worship makes work feel lighter. Worship resets our focus from worry to wonder. And worship puts The King where He belongs: on the throne of our hearts.
Hark! Listen to the Word.
Hurry! To Worship Him.