angels

God sent one angel to announce the birth of Jesus and tell the shepherds how they could find the holy family. Then a whole “host” of angels showed up with a different proclamation.

 Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.

Glory to God and peace to men – that is what the birth of Christ brought to earth that night. The angels proclaimed glory to God who loved his stubborn, disobedient people so much that nothing would prevent him from dwelling with them. And they proclaimed heaven’s peace to men who could not seem to find or create peace for themselves. There was no immediate change in the lives of the shepherds that night. After the angels disappeared, their circumstances were unchanged. The sheep still needed to be watched. Their family and economic situations were unchanged. And they faced a new day with no sleep. But their hearts and expectations were changed. Those shepherds who were so afraid of the sudden appearance of the angels did what the angels told them to do…and they saw God.

Luke 2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Looking at all the strife in our hearts and our headlines, it seems we need the same thing today. Giving glory to God often takes a back seat to our comfort zone, our agenda, and political correctness. Too often when God comes to us, we are too busy, too hopeful for our own glory. We forget or refuse to honor the one who has come to us over and over, who has blessed us, who loves us so much he refuses to let go of us. We don’t give praise and glory to the only one who deserves it…and that robs us of our peace.

I suspect our peace here on earth is rooted in our ability to choose to see the glory of God in the midst of all the other stuff in life. God never promised to grant all your wishes, but over and over he promised his presence. May you hear the proclamation of the angels with new insight this Christmas, and may that knowledge lead you to see God in the midst of the circumstances of your life. Let the honor you show to God bring you deep peace.

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