Suddenly, the angel was joined
by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—
praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those
with whom God is pleased.”
Luke 2:13,14 NLT
These verses are so well-known to me, that it is easy to overlook them. To simply hear them as a part of the story, and not see the gold that is hidden in them. For there is gold here.
In this simple song of the angels is housed the ‘way it was all meant to be.’ Glory to God, they sing. Because God deserves the glory. Only God could come up with the plan for our salvation. Only God could send us Jesus. Only God could work a plan for humanity on so many levels – that Jesus would be our salvation…the one through whom we are made right with God; but also that he would also be God’s ultimate sign of love for us – He loved us enough to come here and live as one of us, so that we could never say “you don’t know what it is like”; and also that in the life and teachings of Jesus we would be given words of wisdom for how to live the good life, the abundant life; but also that through his Resurrection death would be defeated.
Yes, God deserves the glory. That is the way it is meant to be.
Peace on Earth is also the way it is meant to be. We are made for relationship with God and with each other. We are made to be at peace with each other. We are made to be at peace with the world around us. When we fail at peace (remember Shalom? – that is what I mean by peace), then brokenness occurs. When we don’t live holistically and sustainably within the world that God created for us, disease breaks out. When we don’t live holistically with our fellow man, violence breaks out. When we don’t live holistically with God, evil breaks out.
We need peace. We need not just an end to war or other violence, but an end to the way we exclude others, the way we poison our world, the way we try to fix things on our own and leave God out of the equation.
May the song of the Angels ring loud and clear this Christmas. May it remind us all of how it is meant to be. May each of us seek and find ways to give the glory to God and bring peace to the Earth.