Glory to God in the highest!
and peace on earth, goodwill to men.
Why should we wait until Christmas time to say this? To proclaim it, to pray it, to sing it? It was the declaration of the angelic hosts on the night of Christ’s birth, so it’s the theme of many Christmas songs, skits, and decor. But it’s also what came to my mind, walking down the beach on a sunny fall day. “Glory to God in the highest!” Sometimes His creation and His goodness just evokes such praise in a heart that we have to shout glory!
The phrase that naturally follows – “peace on earth, goodwill to those on whom His favor rests” – well, that is a prayer we can all say amen to in this troubled world. Peace isn’t easily found today. With wars and rumors of wars, terrorist attacks, school shootings, the homosexual battle, and even just the increasing busyness of life – where is peace? And goodwill toward God’s people? Hatred of Christians is growing, and the church seems weaker than ever.
And so we can cry this out as a prayer: “Peace on earth! Goodwill to the people of God’s favor!”
It’s easy to become discouraged when we look around at what’s happening in the world and in the church today. It’s horrifying, really. But we have to remember that it’s in God’s hands, and there is still hope. He knew all this was coming – every crime, every explosion, every homosexual victory, every slaughtered and sold unborn victim, every homeless refugee, every failing of the organized church to stand up for Christ and His Word. He saw it coming even as He graciously gave us free will. He weeps, I am sure, as Jesus wept over Jerusalem that day (Luke 19:41-42). But God is sovereign, and none of it is out of His wise oversight. The glory is still His. He will ultimately win; Scripture tells me this fact. No matter the turmoil on earth, this is still true: “Glory to God in the highest!”
Because Christmas did happen. Because Jesus came, lived, died, and rose again, there is victory in Him! So though my soul – and yours too – is burdened for the world, at the same time you and I can lift our hearts, our eyes, and our hands today and say, “Glory to You, God. You reign.”