Sing With the Angels on Christmas
Christmas Message on Christmas Eve
What would Christmas be without singing? Who doesn’t like Christmas songs? Chestnuts roasting on the open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose. I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me. We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Whether its Bing Crosby, Josh Groban, or some other pop icon belting the classics, Christmas music puts you in the mood for family, for food, and for fun.
Of course, we love to sing in church on Christmas, too. What would Christmas be if we didn’t sing Oh, come, all ye faithful, Away in a manger, Hark the herald angels sing, or Silent night? These Christian hymns are so popular that even secular artists sing them at Christmas. We do too. Most people can’t wait to sing their favorites and then to hold a candle at the end of worship while singing Silent night. What would Christmas be without singing?
I suppose it is appropriate that music and singing are such important parts of Christmas . . .
It was just another ordinary evening. It had been another long and laborious day. Working with animals is not easy. Working with sheep is not easy. They aren’t exactly the brightest bulbs in the animal kingdom. So quietly on this silent night the shepherds were resting and keeping watch over their flocks.
We could only imagine what it was like to have the quiet solace of that calm evening interrupted by an angel of the Lord appearing and then the glory of the Lord shining around them. “And they were terrified.” Of course they were terrified! Remember how the glory of the Lord led the Israelites as a pillar of cloud or fire? Then there was Moses who had to veil his face because it was glowing so brightly from the Lord’s glory on Mt. Sinai. Later when Solomon built the temple the glory of the Lord filled the sanctuary. These were simple sheep-shearing shepherds. Of course they were terrified!
More than that, they were also sinners. Like everyone else that has ever lived in this world, they had done their share of wrongs. It’s likely that as rough and tough shepherds they may have even been sharing an inappropriate joke or story around the campfire. Then suddenly this angel of the Lord appears and the glory of the Lord shines around them!
Yet the angel greets them with words of comfort, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Why should these simple, sinful shepherds not be afraid when standing in the presence of a holy God’s glory? “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” There was no need to fear, for the Savior had come.
But then, “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God.” If the previous sight hadn’t scared them enough, then surely thousands upon thousands of angels shining brightly and singing loudly would terrify them! Yet listen to their message: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Why not fear these angels? Why not fear God’s glory? Why not fear God? There would now be peace.
That is our joy at Christmas. That is our reason for singing. That is our reason for gathering here this evening. We might love Christmas songs. We might love family time and delicious chocolates and yummy cookies. We might love to have the lights dimmed and to hold a candle while singing Silent night. But the real reason for our joy at Christmas is this—peace. We now have peace. Not peace on earth. Not peace from war or peace from terrorists. Not financial peace. Far greater! We have peace with God!
This evening, listen to the message of the angels: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you.” Then sing with the angels to praise our God for his salvation. Sing it in Latin, Gloria in excelsis Deo, or sing it in English, Glory to God in the highest. Sing with the Angels on Christmas, for our Savior is born and we have peace!