In recent weeks we have been looking at the angels who brought the great good news of Messiah’s birth to humble shepherds in Bethlehem. After declaring to the shepherds, the birth of “Christ the Lord” we read, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:13,14 NKJV). The word “host” is the idea of an army of heavenly being. Paradoxically this army is proclaiming peace. We have lots of songs that center around the angels singing, but the Scripture doesn’t say that the angels sang. But I’m sure that the speech of the angelic host was sweeter and more melodious than any song these shepherds had ever experienced on earth. This revelation of Messiah’s birth was not done in a corner. It was the privilege of the angels and it’s our privilege today to make the declaration that God has come in the person of His Son to be reconciled to mankind. There can be no human choir as grand or as massive as this choir that appeared on the horizon on that sacred night. The revealing of Messiah’s birth was not done in a corner.
The angel’s declaration begins with “Glory to God in the highest”. A necessary preliminary to real peace on earth is the glory of God. The emphasis here is on the character and nature of God. The word “peace” in the passage denotes more than our English word catches, as it designates the messianic salvation that is being provided. Salvation through Jesus Christ is a most amazing and miraculous experience. A state of tranquility and happiness that results in fellowship with the God of the universe through the Lord Jesus Christ is one of the most amazing things. When we trust Christ, we experience the forgiveness of our sins and are reconciled to God. What an amazing treat that is for the holiday season. God’s peace is not given to those who have goodwill, but to those who are receivers of God’s goodwill and favor. When we open our hearts to the message of salvation and peace, that message then becomes an amazing blessing to the very core of our being. We are then born again into the family of God.
I would like to encourage you very much to look for opportunities this Christmas season to declare the majesty and splendor of such a gracious God, who has made the most amazing provision so that all of us may have eternal life. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” Just as the shepherds went forth that first Christmas to declare what they had experienced and seen so let us go forth and share with a broken world the fact that God has done everything that He could to make peace through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. My deepest prayers for you and your family this Christmas season is that may you experience the peace that passes all understanding, that is found in a dynamic relationship with the one who changes hearts and lives so completely.
Pastor Rich Sivo