In Luke chapter 2 the Angel of the Lord says something really profound (v.14)
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom God is pleased” (NAS)
It is beautiful in its simplicity.
I’m not trying to make this into a three point sermon, but it does seem to me that there are three interesting things said here:
God is pleased with us. That strikes me in a post ‘sinners in the hands of an angry god‘ era. Now, maybe someone wants to say that god was pleased with us before we killed his kid and rejected the gift… but that is not how I’m reading it here. Why is God pleased with us? Is it because god is gooder than we have been told? Probably. Is it because of something within God and maybe not within us? Possibly. But the bottom line is that God likes us and in Christ is well pleased with us! That is is a Christmas gift worth unwrapping.
Peace on Earth is God’s intention. God wants peace on earth. The angel said so. The sad part is that many Christians will argue with me about this. Fortunately, they probably disagree with part one (that God is pleased) as well … so you have take that as a whole package.
The Glory of God is peace on Earth. This is God’s house and we are God’s people. The state of your house and welfare of the people who live in it reflects something about you. The state of the earth and the welfare of the people who live in it reflects something about God. Now, people who emphasize the transcendence of God portray God as being so holy that God can have nothing to do with humanity’s sinfulness. The problem is that Luke 2 is about incarnation and God becoming one us. God is not just in the highest – as of Luke 2, God is also in the lowest.
So to you I say Merry Christmas! I join the Angel to say Peace on Earth! Goodwill to all mankind! For this is the Glory of God!