"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.'”
In response to announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, it’s almost as if the angels could contain themselves no more. The armies of heaven arrived on the scene and shouted “Glory to God in the highest way possible! What God has just done … dude, it just doesn’t get any better than this!” (my translation). But, as one reads the Christmas story, it wasn’t just the angels shouting “It doesn’t get any better than this.” There is a consistent theme of worship throughout the story.
- Luke 1:47 "And Mary said: 'My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.'"
- Luke 2:20 "The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard, which were just as they had been told.”
- Matthew 2:11 “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him.” Luke 2:28 “Simeon took Him (baby Jesus) in his arms and praised God.”
- Luke 2:38 “Coming up to them (Mary and Joseph) at that very moment, she (Anna) gave thanks to God and spoke about the child (baby Jesus) to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”
Tim Keller has defined worship in this way: “Worship is treasuring God: I ponder his worth and then do something about it--I give him what he's worth.” God crossing the expanse of the Universe, entering our world, remaining 100% God and yet becoming 100% man, offering “Good news of great joy for all people” … it just doesn’t get any better than this. As we edge closer and closer to Christmas day, let us ponder His worth and treasure all that God has done, and may our response be the same as those throughout the Christmas story … worship.