Each year during Advent, I marvel at the angels' part in announcing the birth of Jesus to shepherds in a field. This year, I am paying special attention to the words "glory" and "glorifying" in Luke's Christmas passage, because they were topics in one of our Bible study sessions about the gospel of John.
Luke 2:9-11,13-14,20 – Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior — yes, the Messiah, the Lord — has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others — the armies of heaven — praising God and saying, "Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased." … The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. (NLT)
When God shows His glory, He discloses Himself as present with powerful, indisputable love, aiming to provide wholeness in His creation. His glory makes us recognize Him for Who He is. When we see His glory, it leaves such an impression that we respond with worship. To hold God in reverent awe for His goodness to us through Jesus our Messiah and Saviour is to glorify Him.
One loving display of God's glory was to the shepherds at the time of Jesus' birth. The supreme display of His divine self-disclosure came at the cross, when Jesus took and paid for all the consequence of creation's broken relationship with the Creator. Jesus makes it completely possible for anyone who seeks it, to share in knowing God's powerful love, hope-filling presence, and salvation. That is the peace on earth that the angels proclaimed.
The story of the angels with the shepherds sends me to adore my Maker and to look for ways to reflect His loving, kind nature, kingdom, and glory.
Where do you see the glory of God? What triggers you to worship, especially in this Advent season?
Prayer: Father in heaven, giver of amazing grace, help us, we pray, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, to keep our hearts open to Your glory. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" (Lyrics)