Jonny Cash: Angel Bands

The rich, vocal tones of Jonny Cash have this week been heard in my home. One of my favourites is Angel Band. The words are rather lovely, and talk about angels carrying home the weary Christian to heaven at life’s end. Here they are:

My latest sun is sinking fast,

My race is nearly run;

My strongest trials now are past,

My triumph is begun. 

 

Refrain:

Oh, come, Angel Band,

Come and around me stand;

Oh, bear me away on your snowy wings

To my eternal home;

Oh, bear me away on your snowy wings

To my eternal home.

 

I know I'm near the holy ranks

Of friends and kindred dear—

I hear the waves on Jordan's banks,

The crossing must be near. 

 

I've almost reached my heav'nly home,

My spirit loudly sings;

Thy holy ones, behold, they come!

I hear the noise of wings. 

 

Oh, bear my longing heart to Him,

Who bled and died for me;

Whose blood now cleanses from all sin,

And gives me victory.

Johnny Cash - Angel Band Lyrics | MetroLyrics

 

Country songs are wont to be sentimental, so I thought I’d look at the meaning. Will angels carry us home, or have they better things to do?

The Bible teaches that ‘angels [are] ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation’ (Hebrews 1:14). Furthermore, in Luke 16:22, Jesus says ‘So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom’, though this may be a parable. Apart from this, the Bible says little. It knows our propensity to worship these creatures, so for most of us, their arrival at our deathbeds may be a pleasant surprise. Like Jesus Himself in Gethsemane, our God will see us strengthened and comforted when we are at our weakest. 

You can hear the song here:

https://youtu.be/oca__6WeER8