And the angel said to them,
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
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
among those with whom he is pleased!”
- Luke 2:10, 13-14
The “good news” announced to the “shepherds out in the field” was made by one (“the”) angel—and it was good news for “all the people.”
After the sign (a swaddling-wrapped baby lying in a manger) was given to the shepherds, the angel was joined by “a multitude of the heavenly host” to praise God. This was when a further detail was added to the original announcement: there will be peace on earth among those with whom he is pleased.
What is this peace? And are “all the people” announced by the angel the same as those “with whom he is pleased”?
What is this peace?
Peace is fleeting for all the people now on earth. In fact, the opposite is true. Our lives are filled with stories of an absence of peace: wars, conflict, divisions, and all manners of oppressions.
The words that follow “on earth peace” are crucial: among those with whom he is pleased. This is not a peace that everyone on earth can experience but only those with whom God is pleased. So, with whom is God pleased? It is only those whom God has chosen to set his love upon and save through faith in his Son.
This is Christmas. This is your Christmas. It is yours when you embrace Jesus by faith – that and that only brings peace with God.
May His peace be on you all this Christmas.
Pastor Robert Chew