Peace. The saying of the word itself unleashes a torrent of craving in the heart. With all the striving and strife in the world, and even within our own hearts and minds, how we long for a beautiful refreshing peace.
What would we give for peace? How can we obtain peace? Is peace even available?
Jumping straight to the good news: peace is available! God has made peace with men. If we have peace with God, we can have peace within. If we are at peace with ourselves, we can be at peace with others.
In “Let There Be Light” we saw how night was turned brighter than day as the glory of the Lord shown around chosen shepherds near Bethlehem. In “Let There Be Joy” we discovered that an angel brought good tidings of great Joy which will be to all people.
Suddenly, after these things a multitude of the heavenly host joined the angel doing two things:
- Praising God
- Proclaiming a saying
Praising God seems pretty self-explanatory and something that would seem to be as natural as breathing to heavenly hosts. The real question about praising God is why it is as not as natural as breathing to us. What is wrong with us?
The fact that there IS something wrong with us is what makes the saying that the multitude was proclaiming so special. The saying is in two parts:
- Praising God yet again
- Proclaiming the peace of God
“Glory to God in the highest” was the opening of the multitude. Indeed all glory belongs to Him. To Him we owe our being, even as we exist in the universe that He has created. He is the source of all things, and in Him we have our being.
Glory to God indeed! The fact that we don’t start every saying with that proclamation reveals continually that we are hiding from God even as Adam and Eve because of consciousness of our sin.
This fact of our sin before a holy and glorious God is what makes the second part of the saying so special. God retains His glory and holiness, even as He extends the lifeline of peace to fallen man.
When the shepherds went to Bethlehem, they went to see a Savior. God was still holy, but now “on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
“A Savior has come, God sent us His Son.” These beautiful words were in the Christmas cantata that we sang this year. Jesus came to pay the price for our sin that we could never pay. Praise be to God in the highest for His magnificent gift! Let there be peace.
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