While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground;
the angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone around,
and glory shone around.
Fear not, said he, for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind.
Glad tidings of great joy I bring
to all of humankind,
to all of humankind.
To you, in David's town, this day
is born of David's line
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,
and this shall be the sign,
and this shall be the sign:
The heavenly babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
and in a manger laid,
and in a manger laid.
Thus spake the seraph and forthwith
appeared a shining throng
of angels praising God on high,
who thus addressed their song,
who thus addressed their song:
All glory be to God on high,
and to the earth be peace;
good will henceforth from heaven to earth
begin and never cease,
begin and never cease!
Text: Nahum Tate, 1652-1715
Music: Harmonia Sacra; arr. from G.F. Handel
This hymn captures the story of shepherds who received the good news of the Savior's birth on the very first Christmas night.
This is an old hymn and I remember well singing it as a child. Thankfully I was always a member of a choir when growing up and learned a good many songs that I wouldn’t have otherwise known.
I don’t remember my folks singing, but between church and school it seems like music was always a part of my life. I always loved to sing. These days I don’t carry a tune so well and no longer sing in a choir, but have some great memories of doing so.
There is a lot of joy to be found in music and it is part of my preparation for Christmas. The time we get to sing these wonderful songs seems so short and there are so many to enjoy.
May we experience the joy of the shepherds every day. While every day may not be good, there is something good in every day.