Peace on Earth?

When a multitude of the heavenly host appeared to a group of shepherds out in the field, they proclaimed “Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.” Someone may take a critical look at the world today and ask “Where is it? I don’t see peace on Earth.” The first thing we need to do is examine what this group of messengers were really saying. The full text of Luke 2:14 is “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Your translation of choice may not include among those with whom he is pleased so let’s not even go there. These angels are worshipping. They proclaim Glory to God in the highest which we do not see everywhere in the world today. The creation points to God’s glory but the majority of people walking the face of the earth do not acknowledge God. The angels were announcing the birth of the Messiah/Christ so peace on earth could be similar to Jesus himself saying “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” He certainly was. So the angels did not prophesy in so many words “There is going to be peace on earth” or “from now on there will be peace on earth and goodwill everywhere you look.” But I still want to address these two questions: Is there or can there be peace on earth? Will there ever be peace over the whole earth?

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Happy Monday

hap mon, king size

Yeah, it’s Monday.  But look on the bright side, it’s the first Monday in December.  Also the first week of Advent.  And if you’re SBC, this is the week of prayer for International Missions.  Most of us will get some kind of break in another couple of weeks, and this is truly the most wonderful time of year. Continue reading

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

In Luke 2 the sky was filled with the heavenly host proclaiming the gospel of peace to a few lowly shepherds.  Last week, Joy, was about the shepherds.  They found the baby as the angels had said, and went out of Bethlehem rejoicing and praising God.  This week we celebrate Peace and light the Angels’ Candle. Continue reading

Rethinking the Angelic Choir

the-angels-song-and-the-shepherds-visitAnd in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 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. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babywrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 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 2:8-14, ESV)

When we read any type of narrative, it is normal to picture how we think the scene might have looked in the mind’s eye.  There are numerous portraits of Jesus, the Apostles, Joseph and Mary, Old Testament characters, and so forth, but the only thing we know for certain is that we do not know what any of these people looked like.  Some things we do know; Jesus did not have blue eyes.  When artists of the Renaissance created Biblical portraits, they unashamedly made the characters look like twelfth century Europeans.  We can accurately predict Jesus would have been short, dark skinned, dark eyed, and looked very Hebrew.  Scripture teaches he looked pretty much the same as every other adult Jewish male of his time.  Just like there are certain things we know are not exactly right about the most popular images of Jesus, we can safely say that certain artistic liberties have been taken with the portrayal of angels. Continue reading