Picture this. You’re in the car with the fam looking at Christmas lights and a classic Christmas song comes on the radio. You know the song by heart, you’ve sung it a thousand times. You’re arriving to the chorus where you can really show off your singing skills…! “Glo-o-o-o-o-ooooo-ria in excelsis Deo”!!
“Angels We Have Heard On High,” is a classic for the Christmas season…and it’s a catchy one at that!
But, for being such a popular Christmas song have you ever paused to consider what “Gloria, in excelsis Deo” even means!? It’s even the only non-English phrase in the song, and it’s not something we sing or say frequently outside of the Christmas season.
When WE thought about it…it kind of left us scratching our heads a bit. So we thought we’d do a little digging to find out exactly what “Gloria in excelsis Deo” means, and why we sing it with such gusto each Christmas season.
A QUICK HISTORY
Gloria in excelsis Deo is a Latin phrase roughly translated into English as “Glory to God in the Highest.”
If you look in Luke 2 you’ll actually find a similar phrase being used!
Right after Jesus’ birth, an angel of the Lord appeared in the sky above some shepherds who were out in the fields at night, watching over their sheep. The angel was there to announce the news of Jesus’ birth:
“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior - yes, the Messiah, the Lord - has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. Suddenly the angel was joined by a huge gathering of angels who were all praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those with whom God is pleased.”
Can you imagine this!? The angels were praising God for this incredible, and long-awaited news! God had promised the coming of a savior thousands of years earlier and FINALLY, God’s plan was becoming clear. He would fulfill his promise through his Son, JESUS.
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
Well to understand that, let’s look at what the Jewish people were waiting for.
The Jewish people had been waiting for a Messiah (aka. a leader or savior of a particular group or cause) This would be someone who would help save their nation politically and get the Romans off their land. But God had much bigger plans! God’s plan was to send his Son – not just as the Messiah of the Jewish people – but as the Savior of the whole world!
John 3:16 says, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
God sent Jesus to earth so that through his life, death, and resurrection from the grave He would pay the price for the sin that separated people from God. All people. You and Me, included.
So the news that the angel announced to the shepherds that very first Christmas…The good news that will bring great joy to all people…that news was for us, too!!
So, the next time you are driving down the road alone in the car and that classic Christmas song comes on the radio…be bold…be confident…and sing out your best “Glo-o-o-o-o-ooooo-ria in excelsis Deo!!” Because our Savior has been born!
Finding Hope Every Day
While your people are getting together this season, fill your place with something that actually encourages you. Stream BOOST wherever you go by Clicking here to listen. Or you can easily bring BOOST with you by downloading the BOOST Radio App.
What can you expect from listening to BOOST Radio?
BOOST isn’t your typical pop and hip-hop station. Don’t worry, you’ll hear music with great beats that you’ll wanna turn up in the car. The difference, though? This music has meaning.
You’re going to hear DJs that are real people. Laughing. Having fun. And being honest about life.
And you’re going to notice that BOOST leaves you feeling a little better about life in general. A few minutes of listening should leave you feeling hopeful and refreshed.
Yeah, we know that’s a big promise. But don’t just take our word for it, try it yourself!