“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”… Famous phrasing from Luke 2:14 as angels erupted into celebration about the birth of Jesus… also part of a Christmas carol we like to sing at this time of year… Easy to sing, but do we mean it?
Have you ever prayed to God for peace? Peace in your job, your marriage, your home? Our country? The world? When you prayed it, what did you picture would happen? For example if you prayed for peace in the world, what was the peace solution you hoped for? Our enemies surrendering to us? Us surrendering to them? Peace on Earth is tough to imagine.
And showing goodwill toward men… I guess when the angels sang it they were talking about God’s gift to us – but we are called to follow in His example… So what if we deem someone doesn’t deserve our goodwill? What if it is someone we find ourselves hating? Someone we don’t respect? Someone we feel doesn’t show any goodwill to others? Goodwill to all people is tough to practice.
Glory to God. What does that look like? I’m sorry to admit that many times my life doesn’t bring glory to anyone let alone to the Creator. If I believe that I am His creation then all of my words, all of my actions, all of me should be focused to draw others attention TO Him – not away. Living a life that is always pointing to the Glory of God is tough to fulfill.
I think that phrase, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!,” is interwoven and interdependent. All three things – glory to God, peace on Earth and goodwill to all people is each a necessary thing for us to strive for – for each to be met individually. Can I show others the glory of God if I don’t show goodwill to others? As a believer, can I truly find peace if I live a life that doesn’t point to God’s glory? I can’t imagine how that could be…
May all of our lives reflect His Glory.
Together may we all seek and find Peace.
And to all, may we show Goodwill.
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Jason Rehmel is the Lead Pastor at Eastside Christian Church on the east side of Cincinnati. If you are someone who has had a terrible experience(s) at a church or churches – stop by some weekend and give it one more shot with Eastside. Whether you have felt judged, or dismissed, or unwanted – Eastside is different.