Today’s devotional is by Becky Watson

One thing I find very interesting about this hymn is how, while singing, we jump from being the watcher of the Christmas story to being the angels singing of Christ’s birth. We get to play a part in the Christmas story!

Originally a French carol - “Les Anges dans nos Campagnes” (‘The Angels in the Countryside’) - the carol tells of the shepherds being visited by angels. Most of us know the story; shepherds sat in the fields with their flocks, their duty to guide and protect their sheep. Then, suddenly, an angel appeared to them and told them of Christ’s birth. Luke writes, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’ ” - Luke 2:13-14 (ESV)

Another translation of this passage says that ‘a great company’ of angels appeared. In military terms, a company can have up to 200 soldiers in it. And the fact that Luke says it was a ‘great’ one would tell us that it was around the maximum size.

A few years ago, I went to hear a choir that had approximately 30 singers. The sound was incredible and I was so moved by their harmonies. I can’t even begin to imagine what an angelic choir with 200 heavenly voices would sound like!

My favourite verse in this carol is the first, where it says:

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

It’s something we just sing, never really imagining what the words are actually saying. Think on this – the mountains echoed the sound of the angels! I know the author of this song wasn’t there, but I can imagine that 200 voices would echo across the land. In a way I imagine this as the mountains even worshipping God for this miraculous event. The Bible tells us:

Praise the Lord from the earth…
Mountains and all hills…

Let them praise the name of the Lord,

    -  Psalm 148 7, 9, 13 (ESV)

If you read the whole Psalm, you’ll read the Psalmist imploring all creation to worship God. He created all things and all things will worship Him. To have been there that night when the angels appeared, singing praises, and their songs echoing off the landscape around them, would have been incredible! We can worship God today in so many ways, and God deserves to be worshipped!

Take a moment to worship, to thank God for all He has done, especially for sending His son.