Peace in the Big Reveal
Updated: Dec 20, 2022
“And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:12-14 (NKJV)
I do not know about you, but I like signs. I like signs in the airport that tell me about my flights. I like signs on the front of restaurants and retail places that tell me their hours, specials, and sales. I like signs in the train station. I recently traveled alone by train for the first time. I was in Union Station in DC quite early before my train. Parts of the station are beautiful, and parts cause you to be on your guard. I was watching for signs on the wall and signs in people’s body language, or their mouthy language. For example, there was man sitting directly behind me in the waiting area yelling repeatedly, “You dumb b…” Oh my goodness! I knew he was a little off, but still it was a clear sign I needed to move to another area of seats. I need signs in the natural, but I am not typically seeking signs in my spiritual life. I know they will come because signs follow those who believe. (Mark 16:17) God initiates what we need to know and how to help us know it. If a sign will help us on our journey with Him, He will send it. However, we do have to be awake and alert to see the signs.
Surely, the shepherds were not seeking a sign out in the hills of Judea. If we were there when God initiated the sign by orchestrating a celestial choir, I am quite sure He would have captured our full attention. I try to imagine the shepherds in the fields. They were not just asleep with the sheep. The shepherds on duty would have been awake and alert because Luke 2:8 tells us that the shepherds were, “…keeping watch over their flock by night.” And what a night it was! God knows how to do the big reveal!
He first revealed one angel surrounded by His glory to speak to the shepherd’s fears, preparing them for the big reveal. Then the angel made the announcement of the good news of the Savior’s birth. This would have been enough to capture my attention. I really do not know exactly how things in heaven work, but I can imagine the other angels asking, “Father, please allow us to go with Your messenger to see the glory and joy of this announcement. We have all been waiting for it. We promise we will be quiet until Your messenger speaks.” They would have been quiet, holding their breath, just waiting to celebrate and praise God that the Promise had come. Suddenly, the shepherds would see the angels as they filled the heavens, bursting out in praise declaring, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
The Word of God records the shepherd’s heavenly encounter for us. It assures us that God does not want fear to keep us from experiencing the fullness of His goodness and glory. It reminds us that Jesus came as good news and extraordinary joy for humanity. He sent a sign through the circumstances of our Savior’s birth. Then, to top it off, He released a sky full of angels giving glory to God, confirming, and declaring that the coming of Christ brought peace and goodwill to earth.
Do you live here on earth? Then the peace of God through Jesus Christ is for you. Receive Him in your heart and invite Him into your circumstances today. Baby Jesus’ birth brought the announcement of peace on earth. Jesus did not stay in the manger though. As He grew and prepared to go to the cross for us, He made another announcement of peace in John 16:33 saying “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Lean into Jesus today and lean into peace.