In most of the stories of Christmas, one angel comes to deliver a message. So why did the armies of heaven show up for the shepherds? Did they need the overwhelming presence of so many to underline the importance of this announcement?
Or was this such a momentous day from heaven’s perspective, that every angel wanted to be there? I wonder if the angels were so giddy with excitement they could hardly wait to get this message out and refused to stay back on this night of nights.
Were they there to protect the message? Several times in the Old Testament, God ordered His armies of angels to make an appearance to frighten or overcome enemies of God’s will. Were they expecting push-back?
One fact is sure, on this night, God pulled back the curtain that divided heaven from earth and gave the shepherds, and us, a vision of His heavenly army.
When I think of angel armies, it’s hard to picture them as heaven’s traveling choir sent to wow us with their harmony. Instead, I see a picture of them with swords safely in their sheaths, but ready just in case.
Weren’t we supposed to take the angel message and make it our own? Could we be so bold this Christmas to believe that God wants us to join His army on earth? Do we understand that we have been drafted to proclaim the same message of peace? Not a negotiated peace. Not just a put-down-your-weapons peace. Not a meet-in-the-middle peace.
No. This Peace came through the divide between heaven and earth to demonstrate a way of peace we still have not learned. This Peace was the full manifestation of God’s heart and will. While we see this Peace as a helpless baby in a corn crib at Christmas, make no mistake; he was the embodiment of all that God wants us to learn about peace.
Do we need an army of angels to remind us where we have lost sight of God’s peace? Do we understand that God’s peace came to transform our hearts so completely that our minds and perspectives follow? Do we need God to pull back the curtain again and let us see the real enemies we face?
As we get ready for Christmas, we need to get ready for the Peace of God. We need to let the Peace of God reintroduce Himself to us. We need God’s Peace because our hearts are mired in too many struggles that will not bring peace.
Instead of fighting where peace doesn’t exist around us, why not make sure that Peace lives in our homes, around our tables, and in our extended families. Consider it practice work because if we can live peace in our daily lives, we can share peace more strongly where it will make the difference God intended.
People are watching and listening more than we think. Let’s find a way to live a harmony they can’t ignore.