Greetings to you!
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:10-11)
This is great news. God’s promise in Gen. 3 has come to fruition. The Old Testament saints so desired for this day to come. There was great anticipation, and now it has come.
My children are 3 and 2, and they are in eager anticipation for Christmas to be here, not because mankind has received the gift of redemption, but because there are presents under the tree and they know that the presents belong to them. They have already started to guess which presents belong to who and what might be inside. I am sure we can relate at some level of this anticipation.
In the verses above the angels delivered the good news, but who did they reveal it to? Was it the religious leaders? What about the political leaders? What about wealthy business owners? As all of you probably know, none of them. They delivered it to shepherds that were tending their flock. Does this make sense from a human perspective? These shepherds are marginalized, uneducated, and they don’t have any influence, but God chooses the lowly to show His Glory. When they went to see Jesus and to tell of the angels appearing, what was the response they received? Those that had heard the report were (astonished, surprised, amazed, wondered), but Mary treasured them and pondered them in her heart. When we share the good news/gospel (Gk. evangelizo- where we get the English word evangelize), what is the response? Does it cause people to wonder? Are we still amazed by it? Like Mary, do we treasure & ponder it?
This is not all of it though, after the good news is delivered and before the shepherds go to share it, a multitude of heavenly host start praising and saying “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” (Luke 2:14) It has been said that the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Everything we do should be for the purpose of glorifying God. Whether that is scrubbing toilets or leading a congregation. All of our thoughts and actions should honor God. The second half of this verse is what God has been working on me this week. PEACE on earth with whom He is pleased.
PEACE- What about Peace?
This time of the year there seems to be so much going on that we are all running around like crazy, where is the peace? Is your life filled with chaos or peace? Do we take the time to slow down, get quiet and allow God to give us the peace He promised? It appears that to often this time of the year that the “Reason for the Season” the “Christ of Christmas” is a secondary thought. On what is “traditionally” called the first Christmas (probably took place in the fall or spring, not Dec. 25th, I believe it took place in the spring), was there peace on earth and joy in the lives of those involved? What about yours? Jesus gives a peace that surpasses all understanding. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Peace is not a once of year thing, God gave us a peace that only He can give. In the middle of the storms, chaos, life’s struggles, ministry challenges, life decisions, uncertainty, God is still there and is in Sovereign control of each and every one of them. In Mark 4:35-40 a real storm comes and the disciples think that they are going to perish. But what is Jesus’ response to the storm? I LOVE THIS!!! He says, Peace, Be still (GK-phimoumai), which literally means “Be Muzzled” which is the exact same thing he says to the demons that have possesed individuals “Be silent, and come out of him!” (Mark 1:25). Jesus gives us peace and there is nothing this world, the things of this world, or the prince of the world (Satan), that can take it from us, unless we allow it. God can simply say “Be Muzzled” and there will be instant Peace, WOW, how awesome is that!!!
I pray that each and everyone of receives God’s peace in a mighty, mighty way at this time. May He continue to grant you wisdom, discernment as you seek to follow His will for your life. May the opportunities this time of the year brings be one of great rewards and blessings.
Merry Christmas, PEACE on earth,