Wednesday, December 9th

Wednesday, December 9th

The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” 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.” Luke 2:11-14

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

An angel of God appearing to announce the birth of Christ and then being joined by a vast host of angels to praise God for bringing this about, is a very big deal. The fact that angels appeared to lowly shepherds does not diminish the significance of the event. Make no mistake, they were lowly shepherds. They were not lowly as people, but lowly in the societal structure of the day. God reveals himself to the receptive. Evidently, God does not go to the mainstream of society because they were not receptive. So, through an angel, God announces the birth of Christ to lowly but receptive shepherds and then a vast host of angels praise God for this amazing happening.

But there is more! The angels say, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” In a very real sense, the angels are telling what the birth of Christ will ultimately accomplish: followers whose lives are pleasing to God because they bring glory to God in highest heaven as recipients and agents of peace on earth. The baby born that day in Bethlehem was proclaimed to be the Savior of the world. Jesus Christ would go on to sacrifice himself on the cross to redeem us from sinful, rebellious, wasted lives and to give us lives that really count because they please God.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I know my Savior secured peace between "God and mankind" by letting the judgment of sin fall on himself. I am a recipient of both peace with God and the peace of God. I pray that "unwrapping" Christmas in these terms will happen for countless people who have never had it happened before. Use me this Christmas season in ways that contribute to people coming to the Savior and receiving in full both peace with God and the peace of God. Amen!

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