Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Angels from the Realms of Glory

Christmas Carol Messages: Angels From the Realms of Glory


Angelology—the study of angels—is more popular than ever. Yet, there are more misconceptions about angels today than ever before. You’ve probably seen photos of baby cherubs wearing a diaper and carrying a bow and arrow appear around Valentine’s Day. Or maybe you’ve heard someone explain the death of a loved one by saying, “God needed another angel in heaven.”

But biblical angels are far different from these perceptions. Angels are described as powerful created beings who serve God in heaven and act as His messengers. And angels played an active role in gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus. For example, one or more angels appeared to:

  • Zacharias to prophesy about the birth of John the Baptist as the forerunner of Jesus (Luke 1:5-25).
  • Mary to announce the miraculous birth of her son, Jesus (Luke 1:26-38).
  • Joseph to tell him not to reject Mary because of her pregnancy (Matthew 1:18-25) and again to Joseph to warn him to take his family to Egypt to protect Jesus (Matthew 2:13-15).
  • Shepherds watching their flocks outside the city of Bethlehem to proclaim the birth of the Messiah (Luke 2:8-14).

So with this background, let’s look at the lyrics of “Angels From the Realms of Glory.”

Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth;
ye who sang creation’s story now proclaim Messiah’s birth:

Come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king.

Shepherds, in the field abiding, watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing; yonder shines the infant light:

Come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king.

Sages, leave your contemplations, brighter visions beam afar;
seek the great Desire of nations; ye have seen his natal star:

Come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king.

Saints before the altar bending, watching long in hope and fear.
Suddenly the Lord descending, in His temple shall appear.

Come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king.


This Christmas carol identifies four distinct groups of worshipers:

  • Created beings who worship God.
  • Isaiah 6:1-7 describes the prophet Isaiah’s vision of heaven in which he saw angels praising and serving God.
  • Revelation 5:1-14 describes the apostle John’s vision of heaven in which he also saw angels praising and serving God.
  • In the gospel accounts of Christ’s birth, angels are actively worshiping as they proclaim the birth of Jesus.


  • Low social status along with tax collectors. Shepherds were frequently separated from polite society because of the amount of time they spent watching their flocks.
  • And yet, angels gave them the honor of being the first human messengers to proclaim the birth of the Messiah (Luke 2:15-20).


  • Sages, or magi, had been studying the sacred writings as well as a variety of signs in the heavens to confirm the prophecy of the birth of a great king.
  • This carol exhorts the wise to prioritize worship over prophetic activities.
  • This song also speaks of the wise seeking the “desire of nations”—a connection to John 3:16 which tells us “God so loved the world . . .”


Saints (believers):
  • This stanza doesn’t refer to Jesus’s first advent when He arrived on earth as a baby.
  • It describes a scene similar to Revelation 6:9-11 in which martyrs under the altar eagerly await the Son of God’s righteous rule over the earth.
  • So this song speaks of Christ’s second coming when He will return in glory to rule and reign forever.


“Angels from the Realms of Glory” is not just a carol about angels or even the birth of a baby. Angels from the Realms of Glory is about worshiping the king. And regardless of who you are, what you do, or where you come from, you too can “come and worship.”

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