“When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this Child…” —Luke 2:17
What would we do if we experienced the glory of God? Luke tells us, “There were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified” (Luke 2:8-9). Like the shepherds, we may become frightened when the glory of God, the weight of who He is, shows up in our midst.
The angel bears a message: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a Baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12). They were told that the God of glory who could not be contained in the highest heavens had stepped into the human condition to bring about peace. The Messiah, the Lord, the Saviour, the Wonderful Counsellor, the Prince of Peace, Almighty God, Emmanuel, God with us, had come.
Afterwards, not only was the glory above them, but all of a sudden, the glory was shining all around them. Luke writes, “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 favour rests’” (Luke 2:13-14). At that moment, what the shepherds experienced was a glimpse of God’s infinite and intrinsic worth. They understood His character and His essence are worthy of honour and high esteem. Then, they ran off to see these wonderful things they had been told. When they found Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, they worshipped Him. What happened next? “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told” (Luke 2:20).
What this tells us is that when we truly experience the glory of God, something happens to us. As we encounter His glory, it cannot help but bring us to praise and worship His infinite worth. Then as we praise and worship His infinite worth, we start to experience His limitless peace. And as we experience His limitless peace, we are moved to tell others about His infinite worth and His limitless peace. The joy of the Lord is now our joy. The Prince of Peace has become our peace.
This season, as we celebrate the imminent presence of the glory of God, may we be moved to share this message of good news of great joy.
Glory to God in the highest, I worship and praise You for being the Messiah, the Lord, the Saviour, the Wonderful Counsellor, the Prince of Peace, Almighty God, Emmanuel, God with us. Amen!