A Change of Heart
Many of the classic Christmas movies end with the main character gaining new hope. A change of heart occurs, restoring perspective in life. In ‘It’s A Wonderful Life‘ George Bailey realizes his life is worthwhile. In ‘A Christmas Carol’ Scrooge is given a second chance to change his self centered attitude. Charlie Brown’s scraggly Christmas tree becomes transformed with a little love. Even the Grinch’s heart grows three times bigger in ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.’
“Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” underwent some change before it became what we know it today. The text was written by Charles Wesley in the early 18th century when Christmas carols as we know them were abolished by the English Puritan parliament for being part of a “worldly festival.” The original melody was slow and somber. A hundred years later master composer Felix Mendelssohn created the current melody, joined it to Wesley’s text, transforming it into the joyful song we know today.
A line in “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” says,
“Light and life to all He brings, ris’n with healing in His wings.
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.”
The song ends with a prayer for the transforming power of Christ in our lives. Hope restored.That’s one of the gifts the manger brings to us.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
May you be blessed with the hope of Christmas!