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Earth hardly noticed—but heaven did

December 22, 2021
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Daily Scripture

Luke 2:12-14

12 This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, 14 “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

When Rome crowned an emperor, they gave him the title “Savior” (among others), choirs sang, and they declared the emperor divine. Luke put those same elements in his story, a way of saying that from his birth Jesus, not Caesar, was the true Savior, King and God. “Augustus never heard of Jesus of Nazareth. But within a century or so his successors in Rome had not only heard of him; they were taking steps to obliterate his followers.”*

  • In recent years we’ve seen the intense news coverage when a child is born to a member of the British royal family, even one who will be 7 or 8 steps from ever becoming the sovereign. No reporters dogged Joseph and Mary’s steps, eager for a glimpse of their newborn child. But “a great assembly of the heavenly forces” (i.e. a host of angels) burst into song! How can you attune your inner senses more fully to what earth ignores, but heaven considers most important?
  • “As heavenly angels offer praise to God, they also announce peace for humans, whom God blesses; this includes ‘all people’ who accept this baby’s birth as ‘wonderful, joyous news’ (Luke 2:10).”** In what ways has the baby born in Bethlehem brought greater peace into your life? Are there parts of life where you’d like to internalize that God-given peace more fully?

The Journey: A Season of Reflections

Today’s Insights blog was chapter 23, “The Angelic Chorus,” from The Journey: A Season of Reflections, by Adam Hamilton. Copyright © 2011 by Abingdon Press, and available on our website for 24 hours by permission of Abingdon Press. If you’d like to buy the entire book of reflections, you can click here for a direct link to the Cokesbury sale page, as well as other Journey resources.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, Isaiah the prophet said you’d be called (among other titles) “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Pour your peace into my heart in this hectic holiday season, and in our often-contentious world. Amen.

GPS Insights

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Wright, N. T. Luke for Everyone (New Testament for Everyone) (p. 23). SPCK. Kindle Edition.

** Richard B. Vinson, study note on Luke 2:13-14 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 110 NT.