I'm in Kansas now, fighting off a terrible cold and fighting to hold on to some Christmas spirit. I'm not sure I have the energy to be spirited on the outside, but I'm going to try to keep some spirit on the inside with the help of my favorite Christmas carol.
Hark, the herald angels sing . .
Herald: n. a person who carries or proclaims important news; a messenger. (I'm sure there's somebody out there who wasn't sure what a herald was!)
Proclaim: tr. v. to declare publically -- typically insistently, proudly, or defiantly and in either speech or writing; announce.
So, the angels were specifically sent as messengers to give important news, news they delivered not only publically -- "this is for everyone to hear!" -- but insistently -- "you must listen to this! It's important!" -- proudly -- "What a privilege to be the ones to tell you this!" -- and defiantly -- "Take that, you sorry loser, Lucifer!"
And what do they sing? "Glory to the newborn King!"
Glory: n. praise, honor, distinction, renown, worship, thanksgiving, beauty and splendor, MAGNIFICENCE! All of this was due (owed) to God Almighty because of the arrival of his Son on earth . . . Jesus . . . the newborn King.
King! King not because of what he accomplishes later in life, but by right of his birth. BORN a King -- the only Son of the great King. A King with a Kingdom -- a Kingdom he inherits from his Father, yet he also has to conquer it, to win a great battle against the usurper of his Father's people.
No one would have guessed if they walked in and looked at this poor, tired, probably dirty young couple spending the night in a barn that the baby the girl had just birthed, who was now sleeping in the cow's feeding box, was a King . . the greatest of all Kings. One would never come to this conclusion using human perception or reason. The only people who knew who Jesus was at this point were those to whom his identify had been revealed -- Mary and Joseph, some Eastern astronomers just now examining scriptures and the skies, and a handful of shepherds privileged to receive the heralds' message. God has crowned humanity with reason, but not with the intention that we cease to rely on him and his expressed revelation. Some truths we will never come to on our own. We have to be told.
Hark -- Listen! Pay Attention! -- the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"