I was watching the Sunday School children perform their Christmas Pageant this past Sunday evening.  The pageant was called The Bells of Glöcken and involved two young people's bell choirs, choir songs, solos, duets, drama and lots of people in costumes.  The people involved in this production started practicing at the beginning of November. The adults and the children wanted to do this presentation well because they wanted Jesus to be pleased with their work.  They wanted to praise and worship Him.

It also happened that many of our college students were present in the audience.  My wife reminded me the day after that I should have asked all those who have participated in Sunday School Christmas pageants and Christmas Eve Services over the years to stand up.  It would have been an inspiring sight.  For indeed some of the college students who are graduating this coming spring have started their drama and singing debuts here in the church – praising and worshipping God at Christmas time. James Montgomerry, the composer of the carol "Angels from the Realms of Glory" captures this cross-millennial activity of the angels in the first verse when he writes: "Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o'er all the earth; Ye who sang creation story, now proclaim Messiah's birth.  Come and worship, come and worship; worship Christ the newborn King."  How privileged these angels have been to have participated in those mighty acts of God by providing the praise music. How privileged have we as humans been to know Jesus Christ and from our infancy to have sang songs of praises to Him uniting our voices with the angelic choirs that sang at the creation and at His birth.  For indeed across the two millennia since the birth of Jesus Christ, millions – young and old – have sang praises unto Him who came to be our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Our singing also is a confirmation of who Jesus is.  People do not sing praises to Mohammed, Buddha, or Confucius.  These religious leaders did not accept praise songs and worship while they were alive.  On the other hand, the birth of Jesus was announced in song by the angels and He was worshipped by peasants, shepherds and nobility.  During His time on earth, Jesus allowed people to bow down and worship Him.  He did this because He knew that He was God and when people bowed to Him they did not break the first four commandments.  He and the Father and the Holy Spirit are One and while on earth or in heaven, angels and human beings should continually praise and worship Him. 

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Rev. Dr. George Hancock-Stefan

George Hancock-Stefan

Pastor George Hancock-Stefan completed 30 years as the pastor of the great congregation at Central Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlands in 2020. Those 30 years have been a blessed time for him, his wife...