WHAT MADE THE ANGELS SO EXCITED?
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
—Luke 2:13-14 (NIV)
A depressed Chinese communist local party boss went to an official church to hear the preaching of a very sincere and learned elder he knew. Here is his story in his own words:
It was the first Sunday of December. I remember he talked about “The Angel’s Song.” After the service I spoke to him, “You know, I really can’t see what all the fuss is about Jesus. He was a man of moral ideals, and died for his belief, but lots of other religions have such men, too.” This elder smiled and said, “Are you looking for God?”
“I suppose I am,” I admitted to him. He asked again, “Well, if Jesus doesn’t seem to be up to much, what sort of God would you be looking for?” I answered slowly, thinking it through, “I guess a God who first of all is totally powerful, and then is also totally just or fair.”
The elder probed again, “But how would you know a God like that was interested in you?” I said, “Then he would also have to be a God of love.” The elder challenged me by saying, “If you find a God who is all three: powerful, just, loving, would you trust Him?”
“I might,” I replied “but I would need to find an event that proved he was all three.”
“Take this Bible,” said the elder, handing me what I saw was his own copy of the Bible, “and come back to me if you find an event that shows God is supremely and uniquely all three.”
I started reading the Bible and pretty soon I came across that verse the elder had preached on the morning I attended the church. “Glory to God in the highest.” What was it that made the angels so excited? After all they had witnessed, what was so unique about the birth of Jesus?
I had little time to brood on this because my wife was expecting our first child. All went well with the delivery and I held the little warm bundle, gazing into his peaceful sleeping face. What perfection the baby seemed. As I looked, the more I was amazed by the sheer miracle of birth.
Had I really used the word “miracle” to describe the birth of my son? Then I thought, the miracle of the birth of Jesus had to be more than just a miracle of birth to impress those angels so much. I read on, and the Spirit of God gave light to my eyes. God had become a baby.
I looked for three characteristics of the God I would trust. Power. This had to be a greater act than the creation of the world. In the beginning God was merely bringing a world into being.
Love. God came! If He wasn’t interested, He would not have bothered to come at all. After all, Jesus had a very hard life, not the kind of life that anyone would wish for.
Justice. God loved us so much, He came. He came Himself to redeem sinful man. Here was the meaning and glory of Christianity—all captured in the incarnation.
I wept and wept in my little study. I must have stayed on my knees for hours. When I looked at my watch, and suddenly noticed the date…it was the 25th of December…Christ’s birthday! That Christmas was so real. I saw in the cradle the infinite power, justice and love of God supremely and uniquely illustrated. As long as I live, I will celebrate Christmas every day.
RESPONSE: Today I will worship the God whose power, love and justice came in the form of His Son.
PRAYER: Thank God for Jesus. Ask Him to help you celebrate Christmas every day!
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.