Pastor Craig Carter
North Kent Community Church
1480 Indian Lakes Rd., Sparta, MI 49345
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’”
This passage of scripture in Luke 2 is one of the most read verses in the bible this time of year. There is so much here, it is often easy to overlook the powerful, yet simple message of Christmas found in these verses! We see from this passage, the angel’s message was one of good news about a specific day in history, in a specific city, about a real Savior, who is Christ the Lord. While this news was being proclaimed, immediately there was a response from heaven. The heavenly response declared two very distinct purposes that God had for sending Jesus to earth.
The first was to declare the Glory of God. Notice it took one angel to announce the savior’s birth, but a multitude joined with the angel to praise God! This word multitude is a military term, also translated host. It meant an army. An army of angels came to sing and proclaim God’s glory. It signified how important this event in history was. It signified how important this Savior was. It was a life-changing event that would forever change the course of history. What did it mean? What did it proclaim? It proclaimed how much God loved the world. We are reminded in John 3:16, that “God so loved the world, that he sent his one and only son…” It declared to all of humanity that God alone deserves all our praise. It was intended to grab all of man’s attention and direct it to the one who was worthy to receive it, Jesus Christ! Christmas is designed and celebrated to turn the world’s attention to Jesus.
Secondly, the multitude of angles declared that peace was now available to all mankind, through this sign, this Savior—Jesus Christ. Often, we declare this peace, at Christmas, as a universal one. Meaning everyone can have peace on earth. This is true, but only to a degree. Meaning, this peace is available to everyone on earth, but only to those on “whom God’s favor” rests. Who may that be, you ask? God’s favor rests on those who receive Jesus Christ as savior, as the one who forgives us of our sin; as the Christ, the one who provides hope; as Lord, the one who defeats our enemies and makes us secure; and the one who provides us peace. Ephesians 2:14 says, “For he himself (Jesus) is our peace…” In the current days we are living in, everyone is ultimately looking for and pursuing peace in their own ways. We would love to see the world at peace with each other. However, apart from Jesus Christ this will never occur. Christmas says that Christ is the answer for peace in the world. That’s why many are anti-Christmas. They ultimately are opposing Christ. The message of Christmas to the whole world is that there is peace through a relationship with Jesus Christ! The angels sang and declared this good news of peace. The greatest gift this Christmas is personal peace with God through Jesus Christ. Will you receive it?
Merry Christmas! Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men!