Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.
Hark! / Listen!
Other than Advent and Christmas there is no other time during the year when the word hark is a part of my daily listening and lexicon. Hark! The herald angels sing—Hark, the glad sound—Hark! A thrilling voice is sounding! These are all songs that we sing during this season, and they all have a similar message. Listen! A voice is calling to you. Holy messengers, from on high are grabbing your attention. Will you listen? Will you answer the call?
In the Christmas story we hear of those who do heed the call. Hark! The shepherds come. Hark! The Magi arrive. Over the course of his life and ministry many others will follow the heralds’ calls to follow Jesus too. When baby Jesus is presented in the temple shortly after his birth, the prophet Anna is there to greet him. The old man Simeon was called into the sanctuary where he praised the salvation that was before his eyes as well. Hark! The 12 disciples left their lives. Listen! The great crowds follow their Teacher. Even at his death the heavens rumbled, calling forth everyone to hear a different kind of calling.
At Christmas, in familiar melodies of old hymns, in appeals from the pages of scripture, in the flickering of beckoning candle lights, we too hear the familiar call. Hark! Listen! Will we listen for the salvation that has been sent to us, the salvation that lies in Mary’s arms? Will we answer the call and find our way as the shepherds, magi, and countless disciples have before us to the God who joins us here on earth.
Pr. Daniel Joyner Miller