PEACE TO THOSE ON WHOM HIS FAVOR REST
Pastor Ted Montoya
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, 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. But the angel said to them, “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 Savior 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.” 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 favor rests.” Luke 2:8-14
Just another dreaded nightshift for a bunch of earthy shepherds in the hills of Bethlehem on the eve of the birth of Jesus,until………..something very strange and terrifyingappearsbeforethem.
No doubt that these men left for work on this particular afternoon as they had hundreds of times before. The goal beingto justsuffer though anothershift. Not a rewarding job, but it didput food on the table.
However, this night would be like none before, and none after. On this particular eveningthese men would lay eyes on a spiritual being that initially scared the_____ (fill) in the blank out of them.
After being consoled by this majestic being,these men no doubt were all ears (and eyes, I might add). The angel of the Lordinforms them that they were just a few miles from “ground zero,”the place where the greatest miracle of all timehad just occurred. And they were the very first people to get the news.
The long-awaited Christ, the anointed one,had just been born into the world and hewas lying in a manger with his parents by his side. The fulfilment of a thousand prophet’s proclamations!
A divine encounter of this magnitude must have blown these men’s minds. Yet still, God would kick it up another notch and “dispatch an entire worship team of angelic beings who burst out inpraise:”
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
After picking themselves up off the ground for the second time (my glorified opinion),thehearts of these shepherds must have reached the flood stage of inner peace. After all, was this not the lyric of the angelic song? Peace was promised to those who are favored to hear and accept the message.
How wonderful the peace of Christ! Yes, Christ came to reconcile sinners back to God. And when the news hits our ears, and is embraced by faith peace is the best word to describe the experience.
Brothers and sisters, it is my hope and prayer that this Christmas season you will ponder the lyrics of the angelic gospel and allow the peace of Christ to guard you hearts regardless of “the shift” in life you find yourself stuck in.