Angels, from the Realms of Glory

Read: Luke 1:5-25; Psalm 103:20-22

I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent . . . to bring you this good news. (Luke 1:19)

Angels don’t mess around. The angel Gabriel was sent to Zechariah to announce the impending birth of his son, John the Baptist, who was to become the Messiah’s forerunner. So Gabriel went, and did as he was told. That is one thing (there are obvious others) that makes angels different from us. Angels are defined not just by their glory and strength, but by their prompt obedience to God’s commands (Ps. 103:20). No wonder then that Gabriel became a bit testy when old Zechariah seemed to doubt the possibility of God’s commands being carried out.

Two hundred years ago an English hymn writer and newspaper editor named James Montgomery gave God’s angels another command when he wrote this: Angels from the realms of glory, / wing your flight o’er all the earth; / ye who sang creation’s story / now proclaim Messiah’s birth.

Obviously, Montgomery wasn’t really trying to order any angels around. This is a poetic way of retelling the Christmas story. In subsequent verses this carol calls on shepherds, sages (wise men), and saints to join in the joyous refrain: Come and worship, come and worship, / worship Christ, the newborn king.

Christ isn’t just the newborn king of the Jews; he is the newborn King, period. Every creature, both human and angelic, should come and worship him. And one day, we hope, they will.

As you pray, worship God with the angels.

Listen along: Angels from the Realms of Glory – Knoxville Choral Society, Angels from the Realms of Glory – Boyce Worship Collective

About the Author

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.

This entry is part 12 of 25 in the series Carols and Lessons