“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.”
Do you recognize these words spoken by the angels the night of Jesus’ birth? The lead angel had told the shepherds watching over their sheep in the fields that the Saviour of the world had just been born and they could go to Bethlehem and find him. He was then joined by a large chorus of angels speaking these words as praise to God for his awesomeness.
Praise is essentially recognizing and acknowledging God as the Supreme Being of all creation. God is high above everything else and he alone deserves all the glory. I trust that you are a praiser every day, that you keep your perspective on life in proper order by telling God that you are aware that he is the ultimate being, the one you worship.
Notice in the angels’ praise a promise of peace for every person who experiences God personally. The Bible teaches in many places that while God loves every person he has created and offers salvation to each one of us, those who do choose to believe in him and live to please him enjoy special favour. One of the countless blessings we can enjoy through Jesus is inner peace that sustains us in any situation.
The whole world is desperate for peace. Wars and fighting abound around the globe with little hope for even a cessation of the conflict. People find themselves in strife with others without apparent solutions to the relational divides. The average individual is faced with tension and stress all around them with no end in sight.
But there is good news. Remember this promise from God proclaimed by the angels on the first Christmas. A new day has dawned with the arrival of the one and only Prince of Peace and everyone who puts their faith in him can experience indescribable peace within even as the storms of life rage on. Peace of mind is ours through peace with God.
We celebrate the final Sunday of Advent this weekend with the focus of peace. I will be speaking to you about Mary, the mother of Jesus, who models a life of peace throughout her days. Her life was never easy but you always get the sense of calm from her as you watch her deal with some pretty dramatic things. This is apparent in her even as a teenager chosen by God for a very special life assignment. Mary seems to understand that knowing all is well within starts and grows by trusting God.
Take some time to ready Luke 1 & 2 over the next few days in preparation for Sunday. Focus in on Mary and take note of how she reacts to some pretty major encounters that would affect and alter her entire life. That’s what peace looks like and it is available to us by faith in Christ day after day.