It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (Advent: Day 11)

Written in 1849 by Edmund Sears, this Advent hymn spans from the night of Christ’s birth to the New Heaven and New Earth. The angels’ song (message of the gospel) is still sounding forth today, but the noise of this world drowns it out. The world’s noise can be terribly distracting, and if we are not careful, we will not hear the still, small voice of the Savior. We must be reminded of this often, especially during the busy holiday season.

But with the woes of sin and strife the world has suffered long; beneath the angel strain have rolled two thousand years of wrong; and man at war with man, hears not the love song which they bring. O hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing!

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (verse 3)

Sound familiar? This truly describes the state of the world today as it did in 1849!

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load, whose forms are bending low, who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow, Look now! For glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing; Oh, rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing!

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (verse 4)

Even as Christians, we get burdened beneath “life’s crushing load.” We try to carry it ourselves, forgetting that His burden is easy and His load is light (Matthew 11:28-29). Oh the beautiful message of the Gospel! It not only offers peace to the world, but peace and rest to the human heart.

So many things in our lives make us weary. Weariness is a theme in many of the Advent hymns because truly, that is the state of the world without the hope of Christ! Many times Scripture admonishes us to not lose heart or grow weary.

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9 NASB).

“For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3 NASB).

“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far behond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NASB).

We must not grow weary because Jesus is coming back!

For lo! The days are hastening on, by prophets seen of old; when with the ever circling years, shall come the time foretold; when the new heaven and earth shall own the Prince of Peace their King, and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (verse 5/Edward Bickersteth 1870)

One of the things I am most convinced of as we head into 2021 is the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ! Satan would try to distract us with the noise of this scary world we live in. We must be vigilant to keep our eyes focused on Christ and our ears in tune to His Word! That sweet Gospel song of the angels still rings out. Listen! Can you hear it? Lord, let Your voice be the loudest in my life!

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4 NASB).


Advent Reflections:

1. Sometimes we get weary in waiting for Christ’s second Advent! What does 2 Peter 3:8-9 tell us about God’s timing?

2. What are we looking forward to in 2 Peter 3:13

3. What should we be diligent about in 2 Peter 3:14-15?

4. What promise does Jesus give us in John 14:3?

5. Are you taking time to be quiet to hear His voice this Advent season? Focusing on Him and His return will help you not become weary. Think of ways you can be more intentional in getting some alone time with Him and His Word.


Click here to listen to an amazing choral version of this hymn on YouTube.

Click here to listen to Mercy Me sing this song on Spotify.

2 thoughts on “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (Advent: Day 11)

  1. Yes the noise of the world drowns out the song of the angels. Verse 5 gives us the hope that The Prince of Peace will one day return and we will hear that song forever and every tear will be wiped away.

    Liked by 1 person

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