Thursday, 24 December 2020
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Here is the greatest announcement of all time: “…for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” (Luke 2:10) Today we reflect on the great birth declaration of Jesus by the angels, the greatest event in history. The Jews had been waiting for ages for their Messiah but they missed this great moment; the announcement came only to humble shepherds. Scholars, teachers of the law, religious leaders, rich men, kings all missed this great announcement – Christ’s coming to save all mankind.
Christ did not stoop from his throne to die for the fallen angels. He left them in chains and darkness until the Judgment day (Jude V.6). Yet the heavenly angels aligned with God did not envy men. They never murmured; they were not ashamed to come down to announce this good news to the poor shepherds. The ordinary, simple shepherds were one of the first recipients of the good news!
Here we see heavenly host singing of Christ and the salvation process through Him. Through their song they declared that it gives glory to God, peace to man and it was a token of God’s good will towards the human race. There are other accounts of angels singing in the Bible— we see them singing blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne (Rev.5:13).The Seraphim sing “Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3). The heavenly beings were emphasizing that salvation brings the highest form of glory. The praise of redeeming man belongs to God! Hence when they saw the Creator paving the way of salvation, the angels rose to the highest notes of the divine scale of praise - singing “Glory to God in the highest!”
See what love is revealed to us through the birth of the Saviour of the world! The gift of the Saviour is an expression of good-will or love of God for humankind. John 3: 16 says: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” The angels also proclaimed peace on earth, which we receive through the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), the atonement He would make that would reconcile the sinner with the Judge – peace between the pardoned soul and God. This is a true goodwill towards a sinner for salvation! Remember, though God extends goodwill to us but He cannot violate His justice—those who reject His offer will one day have to stand before Him. So the key is in our hands through our response!
The good tidings in this season is the salvation and imperishable life one could receive through Christ the Saviour. Its freely available to all who will receive Him in their hearts. Dear friend will you not respond to Him to receive this goodwill through Jesus Christ?
Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace
Hail the Son of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild he lays his glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
“Hark the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born king.”
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Listen: 'Hark the Herald (Paul Baloche)'