I realize Thanksgiving is barely in the rearview mirror, but my heart is already looking toward the next holiday. I cannot explain the transition of Thanksgiving into Christmas, I think it has a lot to do with my family. We lived hours away from my grandparents and Thanksgiving marked the beginning of the trips north to see them and play with my cousins.
When I think of the weekend after Thanksgiving, I often remember the days full of family, baking cookies and breads for the Christmas packages, all while watching Christmas movie classics like White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life. To me, part of the holiday season includes the rich voice of Bing Crosby singing Adeste Fideles on the stereo.
I learned O Come All Ye Faithful in Latin as a high school student for our annual Christmas concert. Standing in the festively decorated school gym, singing the words in Latin, seemed to draw me closer to the Nativity. All these years later, hearing Bing Crosby’s version immediately calls me back to that choir concert.
The words Regem Angelorum translates to King of the Angels. Christmas is surrounded with images of angels in part to the appearance of Gabriel (Luke 1:19, 26) and the angels who announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds (Luke 2:8-15). Throughout the early verses of the New Testament we read that the angels were involved as well. These angels throughout the Bible are messengers, sent to encourage, to inform, and even correct people to whom God is speaking. All these years later, these same angels are speaking to us. Telling us to listen, to watch, to celebrate their King.
Jesus came as the servant-King, to call to the lost, to bring them home, to heal their brokenness, to restore them to Himself. The angels are not calling attention to themselves, they are calling out the celebration of their Lord and King, Jesus. As the Christmas season begins officially, I pray that when we see the images of angels we would remember the reason they are part of the season, to draw our attention to our Savior and King.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests,”
(Luke 2:10-14, bold mine).