Summary: In support of the Angel who brought the message of salvation to the shepherds a host of angels sing about the true peace we can because the favour of God is towards us. Give Glory to God, you can have peace.
You can listen to the full message here:-
The Angels' Song
What happens when you are visited by an angel? Let’s read some verses.
There was a visit to Zechariah when he was in the temple. The angel said to him: ‘‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. (Luke 1:11-14).
There was the visit to Mary given by the angel Gabriel who said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus (Luke 1:30-31)
In a moment we will read the Scripture about the visit to the shepherds. The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. (Luke 2:10)
Angels seem to spend a lot of time saying, “Don’t be afraid” … don’t they.
When the angels reveal themselves and they have a message for you – you know that you are in the presence of a powerful being.
They are powerful because of their purpose.
Most of the time, when angels interact with humans in the Scripture, it is bring a message from God.
The Greek word for angel is angelos. The main meaning for angelos is messenger.
In the first century an angelos was an ambassador that would speak and act in the place of the person who sent them.
Angels are messengers … powerful and causing fear because they come as ambassadors from God. Angels act and speak on behalf of God.
With that in mind let’s read our text.
How did this situation come to be?
God is on His throne in heaven. Glory and splendour is all around.
Then an angel is summoned before the throne.
“Go to those shepherds watching the sheep just outside of Bethlehem … here is the message I want you to tell them”.
Then a great company of angels is summoned before the throne.
“When the first angel has given the message I want you to bring praises and sing … all of you … so those shepherds will know what to focus on.
These are the words you are to sing.
Then off they all go.
Everyone assumes angels have wings. There are mighty beings in heaven that have wings … Ezekiel and Revelation tell us that … but the Scripture doesn’t say whether angels have wings or not.
Somehow they get to earth. It is not by cross from a galaxy far, far away. They transfer from the heavenly world to the earthly world. Again Scripture doesn’t say anything about the process except that Jacob sees a stairway to heaven with angels going up and down.
Whatever the process is … suddenly they arrive in this field with the shepherds. The shepherds are absolutely terrified. So before the angel can even deliver his message he has to calm all the shepherds down.
“Don’t be afraid.”
I can understand that I am quite imposing.
But I can assure you that I am here with news that is going to change the world forever. The long awaited Messiah has been born in Bethlehem. Right now he is lying in a manger.
From that moment the history of mankind has been changed forever.
And because we sit here more than 2000 years later we know the great significance of this moment. For it is the moment that begins the journey of Jesus the Messiah … God in the flesh. A moment that approximately 33 years later will lead to a death for all sin.
Jesus the infant is there.
The angels are there.
The good news is starting to spread.
It is a moment of significance.
In that context the angels sing.
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’
The Good News is that the Messiah … the Christ … has come.
The Good News is that the Saviour … the one who will make the sacrifice … is born.
The Saviour … the Messiah … Jesus … He has come. He has come to bring peace
Not the peace in those days which the Romans said they brought.
That peace was called Pax Romana. This is a Latin phrase which refers to the time from the beginning of the rule of Augustus in 27BC … up to the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180AD. In that time basically everyone in the Roman empire was safe. Any revolts were quickly squashed and there was generally civil obedience and order.
That is not the peace the angels are singing about.