Advent Gift Bag 13 – Manger
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 favour rests.” (Luke 2:13-14)
Yesterday we met a group of shepherds out in the field, washing their socks…umm..I mean watching their flocks…Remember, an angel appeared to them delivering the awesome news that the Saviour of the World had been born. These shepherds were terrified, the Bible says…but the Angel declares peace to them- “fear not”!
This singular voice of a lone angel is then backed up by the joint voices of an angelic choir… “a great company of the heavenly host”! They lift their voices in unison and declare the praises of God! The theme of their song is the greatness and the glory of God!
God has fulfilled on this holy night what the prophets had been foretelling for years!
The hopes, dreams, the anticipation of a world gone astray, a world lost and broken is tonight fulfilled!
Faithful God has fulfilled His promise to His people and to this world!
He is worthy of all the praise, the glory and the honour!
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Flowing from their praise flows a promise…a promise of peace; not only immediate peace - “fear not” - but an ongoing peace to them and all humankind because of this Jesus!
We have come through a year of fear; many at present still find themselves in that place of worry, angst, trepidation about where they are at and where they are going. What will tomorrow bring?!
We all have sensed fear at some time or another in our lives; a sense of restlessness and uneasiness. Of course there’s the outward circumstances that cause fear, but there’s also intrinsic factors that give rise to restlessness. Many continue to experience an inner battle/storm that cannot be calmed by money, work or anything else this world has to offer. An emptiness that seems unending. Someone once described that emptiness as a God-void. In other words, an emptiness that only the living God can fill.
Our sin had separated us from a holy God. He knew that no amount of good works, no amount of education, no amount of religion could give us peace with Him. We would not be able to bridge this gap, so He does it for us, and sends His only Son, our Lord, into this world, so that whoever believes in him will not die but have eternal life.
Jesus has come so that our sins can be forgiven, and so that we could have peace with God, friends of God’s and no longer His enemies.
Years later, Jesus will be heard declaring:
“I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the father but by me” (John 14:6),
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
His peace, not meaning merely the absence of war or the absence of problems…but instead rest in the midst of storm! The peace that enables one to sleep soundly while the storms of life batter and buffet the vessel of one’s life.
Friend, that Peace was the theme of the angelic host’s song that first Christmas. A Peace offered to lowly shepherds…a Peace offered to the world. That same peace is offered to you today…not an abstract idea, but a Person…the Prince of Peace…the Child born unto us…the One Who is our Peace and Who has broken down every dividing wall of hostility.
May you know that Peace this Christmas.
Come Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, into this broken world,
A world that’s lost, longing for direction, to be drawn near;
Replace my insecurities, instabilities with steadfastness,
Shatter my misgivings, my doubts; take away my fear.