As I sat there on that cold December night, I pondered the beautiful sky just outside the window. The stars were brightly shining against the ink-black darkness. Somehow, amidst all of the chaos happening around me, I was able to hear the strains of a beautiful Christmas song forming in my mind. In the music, I was transported to the hills of Judea on that first Christmas Night. I saw the angel make the announcement to the shepherds. I heard the joyful singing of the angels as the Heavens opened. I followed the shepherds to the stable place where the Babe was born. I, too, felt the joy and wondered at our Heavenly Father's perfect gift to the world.
One phrase of the lyric that came to me I puzzled about. "And angel choirs with tongues of fire sang praise to the King of Kings." I wondered if I could say "tongues of fire" in the lyric. So, as soon as I had the chance, I went to the scriptures to find out if "tongues of fire" had a scriptural basis. Indeed it had. "Tongues of fire" means "speaking with the power and influence of the Holy Ghost." Exactly! This inspired phrase was perfectly right! The angels who sang at Christ's birth were certainly singing with the power and influence of the Holy Ghost. His main purpose is to testify of truth. It was definitely appropriate to use that phrase in the lyric.
This Christmas season, I have been gratified to find that this piece, "King of Kings" is being widely performed. I was particularly blessed to have good singers and instrumentalists to write for as I envisioned this piece on that night long ago. This joyous song went on to earn an award in the Church Music Submission of 2002 and was performed on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. My Family and Friends group performed it on several shows during the Festival of Lights concert series at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors Center. Many ward and stake choirs have performed it over the years. And now, this season the Duet version for Soprano and Tenor has become quite popular with singers.
May you also feel the joy and wonder this Christmas as you join the angel choirs with tongues of fire in singing praise to the King of Kings!