Christmas carol, or not?

Have you sung the Christmas carol ‘Lo he comes with clouds decending’ ?
The text has its origins in a hymn “Lo! He cometh, countless Trumpets” by John Cennick published in his Collection of Sacred Hymns of 1752. This was substantially revised by Charles Wesley (also a long time ago!) It was a favourite a hundred years ago, but is seldom sung these days. Have a read of the verses:
Lo! he comes with clouds descending,
Once for favoured sinners slain;
Thousand thousand saints attending
Swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluya! Alleluya! Alleluya!
God appears, on earth to reign.

Every eye shall now behold him
Robed in dreadful majesty;
Those who set at nought and sold him,
Pierced and nailed him to the tree,
Deeply wailing
Deeply wailing
Deeply wailing
Shall the true Messiah see.

Yea, Amen! let all adore thee,
High on thine eternal throne;
Saviour, take the power and glory:
Claim the kingdom for thine own:
O come quickly!
O come quickly!
O come quickly!
Alleluya! Come, Lord, come!
This carol is unique as the content of the text and particularly the title, do not come from the Gospels but from the book of Revelation chapter 1, verse 7, which tells of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Is this in any way the Christmas message?
Old and new, Christmas carols give us such a sense of anticipation during Advent, and are such a joy to sing. They embrace our human condition, and the Gospel message of Jesus our Redeemer. I have just heard a new carol, written and composed by John Rutter, and dedicated to the team at Oxford University who have developed the Covid vaccine. It is called Joseph’s carol, and is so sparkly new that I cannot find the lyrics on line. One to listen out for, I think.
One last point to ponder: we cannot sing carols in church this Christmas; is this a good time to really take in the lyrics?
A final word from Paul: ‘Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you.’

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