Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Joyful, All Ye Nations Rise


Today was The International Baptist Church ESL Christmas Program. Our class sung Hark!, The Herald Angels Sing. I got tears in my eyes as I sang with the students, "Joyful, all ye nations rise!" Though our class only represents 5 of about 200 nations, I couldn't help but think of the day when heaven will be filled with the voices of men and women from every nation on earth. Hopefully, when that day comes, I will hear the familiar voices of my students in that choir!

Because my students are in Level 1, most of the words to this beautiful song were new to them. We spent the last 6 weeks practicing the song and talking about the meaning of each line. We could have mastered the singing with just one or two practice sessions, but it takes a long time for English sounds to form into distinct words, and then for those words to carry meaning. Because the lyrics are essentially poetry, it was difficult to "translate" (can you translate from English into English?) word by word, so I tried to take the meaning of each phrase and convey it in words that they could understand. As I translated, this already-favorite Christmas Hymn became even more precious. Perhaps next year, we'll get to do more than just the first verse.

Hark! The herald angels sing, Look! Listen! The angels with a message are singing. . .
"Glory to the newborn King! Worship the baby--Jesus-- who is the King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild, The King will bring peace and kindness to the world.
God and sinners reconciled." The King will make God and people friends again.
Joyful, all ye nations rise, Happy because of the good news, people from all over the world should stand up and. . .
Join the triumph of the skies. Sing with the angels who are cheering in the sky.
Hark! The herald angels sing, Look! Listen! The angels with a message are singing. . .
"Glory to the newborn King!" Worship the baby--Jesus-- who is the King!

5 comments:

Christianne said...

This post blessed my spirit, Becs. Thank you for sharing what you and they have been working together to understand of this song for the past 6 weeks.

Is it nap time yet? said...

wow that is really neat!

Dwayne said...

That is so, so neat to read about. i loved the 'translations' of that song. i sing those every year without really thinking about what they're saying. --kay (i think i'm signed in as dwayne)

gee gee said...

who did you sing too??? did you get to record it??? would be nice to hear you all.....less then 2 weeks before you'll be home.....ya

Kristin Cobeaga said...
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