“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14, ESV)
The night sky must have exploded with light as countless angels sang that song. It’s a chorus that has sounded down through the millennia, and no doubt you have read it, heard it or even seen it on a few Christmas cards many times already this season.
But do we truly take the time to take in the actual words the angels sang? It’s worth doing that phrase by phrase.
“Glory to God in the highest” – The angels worship God through their song, addressing Him first in His dwelling place, the “highest.” Where is this place? It’s not on any maps. It’s not on any star charts. This is the realm of God’s dwelling, where everything is perfect and glory (the majesty and weightiness of God) fills every place and everything. Yet on this night of the Savior’s birth, more glory goes to God in the realm from which His Son has come.
“And on earth peace” – We measure peace mostly by the absence of any conflict. No wars or fighting. Yet the biblical word includes so much more: Wholeness, complete harmony in your life, and even prosperity. It’s life working as it should with nothing out of joint. When the angels declare peace on earth, they mean on one hand that the war is over between God and humans. God made the way for rebel humans to be made right again with Him through the Son that He gave. And the angels mean that peace is now delivered to man with man and woman with man. The conflicts that divide us no longer need divide us because God’s Son has arrived, declaring peace with us.
“Among those with whom he is pleased” – There is one qualification, for peace does not happen to you just because you live on this earth. God is pleased by faith, and as Hebrews reminds us,
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6, ESV)
God receives glory when we believe His word and receive His Son as our only Savior and Lord. You don’t have to accomplish great things to earn your peace. You don’t have to be rich, smart or popular. But you must exercise faith in God and in His Son. These are God’s terms of peace. Believe on His Son and you will be saved!
Glory, peace and the pleasure of God. These are the theme of the angels’ song. Don’t rush over those words but pause to worship and talk to God today, thanking Him for those terms of peace, and giving glory to him by faith.