“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men.”
On the day of Christ’s birth, an angel appeared to a group of shepherds. The angel announced to those men the arrival of the promised Messiah. After the announcement the angel was joined by a massive throng of angels, all proclaiming praise to God. Their praise looks very similar to Mary’s, though much briefer. These angels began with an exaltation and magnification of God. They proclaimed His glory and put it on display as the most important thing. Their task was not to impress the shepherds with their own might or put on a grand display of group dramatic reading. Their task was to uphold and highlight the majesty of God. That is precisely what they did, “Glory to God!”. In upholding His glory they pointed to His greatness and His goodness. God is the highest. There is none more important, none more powerful, none more worthy, none more anything than God. In His greatness He condescends to bring men to peace. He, as clearly seen in the incarnation, makes peace possible for all men. His goodness extends to the depths of human depravity and makes it possible for men to be restored to peace with Himself. Truly we can say this Christmas what the angels said that day, Glory to God.