”Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Luke 2.14-15
Sometimes a town or city mayor will offer an official proclamation. They may give someone the keys to the city or name a particular day after a person or event. When I think of what the angels did that night announcing of birth of the Christ I relate this to a modern day proclamation. “I hereby declare that today is Christ the King Day. From this day henceforth and for eternity!” Or something like that.
It is not often in Scripture that we see a host of angels appear. I can’t recall too many other times this happened. Typically you have one or two angels show up, give the message, help fight the battle, declare judgement, and then disappear. But in this case, the group of angels (which was a “great” company” – whatever that might be) all came together for two purposes — 1) to praise God, 2) to declare peace upon those whom his favor rests. It seems to be the primary purpose of the angels isn’t to be messengers of the Lord but to give glory to God for eternity (Revelation 7.11).
But in this instance, they did both — praising God for who he is and affirming his activity on those to whom he is actively working. They delivered the message of praise and promise. Praise to God and promise to the birth of the Messiah and involvement of God’s chosen participants (shepherds, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, etc.).
If the angels have a top priority of offering praise to God, what should our role be in relating to the Creator of the Universe? In Revelation 4.8, we read about the angelic creatures who are surrounding the throne of heaven. “And each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around and within. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” Can you imagine that? They never stop. His praise is always on their lips.
The proclamation made surround the birth of Jesus was one for the ages. It not only highlighted the coming of the Savior of the World, but also encourages us to rethink our method and frequency of praise to our God. The life we live should not be wasted in complaining, grumbling or confusion. But it can be lived in offering unique and celebratory praise to the now and future coming King Jesus.
Does your life reflect one of making praise-offerings to God? Are you more focused on this earthly existence that you forget to lift up eternities call and command? The angels and creatures in the Bible, in Luke and in Revelation point us toward a better way. A way of not focusing on ourselves but on the Lord. Offer him praise. Think of him always. Consider the command to praise God your present and future reality.
“Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18.
”O Lord God, I give you praise. You are worthy and beautiful in all your ways. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for coming as Jesus to Bethlehem and entering the world of flesh and blood. Thank you for living a life in sacrifice and surrender to the Father. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen