Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:13-14 NIV
Most all of us know the Christmas story. We know it so well that we tend to gloss over the words written in the bible about this miraculous manifestation, myself included. But I want you to stop for just a moment and think about this…
In this verse above an angel appeared to some Sheppard’s in a field and announced that their long-awaited messiah had just been born! They (all of Israel) had been praying for the promised redeemer that would free them from the rule and oppression of the Roman empire and restore the government back to the way it was during king David’s time. They were looking for a man… a king. They probably reminisced and told stories of how God sent Moses to free their ancestors from Egypt when they were slaves with the hopes that God would do the same for them. No one, not even the scribes or the Pharisees, understood the prophesy. I wonder… did the angels even know what God was about to do?
Now imagine you were one of these Sheppard’s. You’ve got your sheep settled down in one place, and you’re huddled around a camp fire with your friends, hoping for a peaceful night, when all of a sudden, an angel appears. I’ve seen angels and trust me they’re not all light and flying above your head with glittering wings. They can be very frightening, and it probably scared the mess out of them, but then it tells them that the very thing they, and all of Israel, had been praying for has come to pass. Excitement replaces fear, and then something spectacular happens… a great company of the heavenly host appeared praising God! WOW! But I wonder…did they receive what the angels were praising God for?
The angels were praising God for what He had just done! Do you receive what they were saying? Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. God, our King and creator, master of the universe, the creator of heaven and earth and everything in it, the one who breathed the breath of life into us, had just stepped down off His thrown, relinquishing His power, and stepped into His creation! This is what the angels were praising and announcing. Immanuel – God with us!
What an amazing thing our God has done for us! He didn’t have to. He could have just wiped us out and started over or said ‘forget the human race, they’re all no good’, but He didn’t.
Remember this Christmas that God loves you sooooo much that He choose to step into His creation, experience this life for Himself, and show us how we should live. This is what you should be celebrating!