It was the most important event ever, accompanied by the most important song ever, containing the most important announcement ever.
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!" (Luke 2:14)
This very familiar, one-sentence hymn defines our need, and in defining our need, defines the mission of that baby in the manger.
There are two words I want you to meditate on this Christmas: glory and peace.
Advent Announces Glory
Imagine what the world would be like if every person existed with the sole intent to glorify God. That's the way it was meant to be, but in a sad moment of disobedience and rebellion, Adam and Eve chose to live for the glory of the creation rather than the glory of the Creator.
Ever since, all human beings have lived in the middle of a personal glory war. Whether its anger during traffic, a flash of lust, pursuit of material things, or pride, there are other glories that compete in your heart.
This week, could you say that you lived conflict-free with the glory of God in view? If not, then you and I still need what that baby in the manger came to do.
Advent Announces Peace
Imagine again - what would the world would be like if every person lived at peace with God?
Peace with God would allow us to have peace within, not because we're strong or wise or know what tomorrow holds, but because we have a perfect relationship with the One who rules it all. When that shalom with God is shattered, the result is that our hearts cannot find inner peace.
There's a heartbreaking moment in the Garden when God comes down in the cool of the day to commune with Adam and Eve. Instead of running to meet him like friends would, they hide in guilt and shame because their disobedience has shattered that peace.
When we don't have peace with our Creator, we don't find inner peace, and when our souls are conflicted, that turmoil naturally spills into our relationships of every kind.
This week, did you struggle to live at peace with God, with yourself, and with others? If so, then you and I still need what that baby in the manger came to do.
Advent Announces Rescue
You could say that the angels announced that we are glory amnesiacs living in conflict with God, with ourselves, and with one another.
What a discouraging diagnosis! (Yes, initially, but Good News can't be good unless you know that there is first bad news.)
In the same announcement, the angel of the Lord proclaimed life-changing Good News: "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11)
From day one, this Savior would live perfectly for the glory of the Creator. On the Cross, he would face the rejection of the Father and restore peace between God and man.
The angels announce our problem, but more importantly, they announce our salvation: Jesus came to reclaim, rescue, and restore wandering hearts and conflicted relationships.
Now that's a reason to celebrate Christmas!
Paul David Tripp
- Which of your desires, words or actions this week have revealed your lack of zeal for the glory of God?
- How would you have desired, spoke, or acted differently in that moment if your heart was captured by God's glory?
- How have you strained your relationships this month? Think of one or two significant relationships in your everyday life.
- What practical steps can you take to restore those relationships, and why can you approach restoration with humility and confession?