Hark, a Welkin Rings!

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace…” Luke 2:14

Hark! The herald angels sing, (the next three lines are quoted from the Bible)

“Glory to the new-born King; 

Peace on earth and mercy mild, 

God and sinners reconciled!”

Using Luke 2 as a reference point, this traditional hymn was written in 1739.  Theologian, Charles Wesley originally wrote it as “Hark how all the welkin rings!” Welkin is an archaic English term referring to the sky or the firmament of the heavens. George Whitefield, a preacher and Wesley’s friend, thankfully made the appropriate changes. Wesley scholar, Dr. Ted Campbell wrote, “I have wondered if anybody but Charles knew what a welkin was supposed to be.” 

As I sing this precious carol tonight, I want to consider the words and their meaning. I want to proclaim what the angels said and hold fast to the hope for peace on earth, mercy for all, and reconciliation between myself, a sinner, and my God. 

Affirmation: Peace on earth!

Coaching question: What is your favorite carol? What does it mean to you?