13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ – Luke 2:13-14
All of us can think of things that naturally go together: so, Christmas dinner and turkey; The Two Ronnie’s; Eric and Ernie; Torvill and Dean; Ant and Dec. The phrases “God’s glory” and “peace on earth” are also what we think naturally go together. However, the reality is they naturally do not. By rights, God’s Glory and humanity’s peace are opposed to one another. God’s glory is the dazzling outward display of his inner perfections, so his perfect goodness, righteousness, love, justice and truth. When confronted with the perfections of his glory we are exposed. As a human race we are far from perfect. This means we cannot come into the presence of God because as a Holy God he cannot tolerate wrong doing. Instead of his peace, all we deserve from Him is his just judgement. But the wonder of the Angel’s words are that God’s glory and humanity’s peace can go together. This has been made possible because “a Saviour has been born to you” (Luke 2:11) This Saviour has been lovingly sent by God. He has come to save us from the judgement we deserve. He did this when he willingly and lovingly died in our place on the cross, taking the judgement of God we deserve, upon himself. His death has dealt with the problem of our sin and has won for us peace with God. This peace is the true peace we long for; peace with God. The magnitude of the undeserved love of God shown to us in Jesus should leave us, like the Angels, praising God in wonder and awe.
This peace is offered to the whole world but is only given to those “on whom his favour rests.” These are people like Zechariah, Mary and anyone else who share their faith in the promises of God. This Christmas time may we believe in Jesus and find true peace in him. Why not sit still for a moment, and give God all the glory by consciously enjoying the peace given you through Jesus? If you find this hard why not ask God to make his peace known to you?
Yours in Christ