Have you had a life experience that leaves you wondering how to find peace in the middle of chaos? I’ve had a few stages life life where anxiety built up to the point where I feel like vomiting all the time. One year it was when the precious church was falling apart, I could hardly choke down toast. People were accusing us of things that were so outlandish that there really wasn’t a category in my brain to file it under. I felt like I had fallen into a nightmare that if I just shook my head hard enough that it would end. This is so wild it can’t be real life right?
This feeling has come several more times in my life. Sometimes it’s when I read news of human atrocities committed around the world. Sometimes when elements of my personal life fall apart. Nights one kid after another throws up, especially during the holidays. This is so wild it can’t be real right?
Christmas acknowledges the suffering of the world but reminds us that even when life is painful we have hope! The angels declare something that gives us just a tiny peek into what is promised.
These things should not be
The story of Christ’s birth didn’t begin when Mary got pregnant. It is just a peek into the heart of God who existed before the foundations of the world. As humans, we couldn’t create a story so beautiful, and even if we did there is no way we could have organized it to play out.
To understand the fullness of praise burst out from the angels we must see and understand the extent of the brokenness of our earth. Many of us know this first hand. In our world, we see massacres, wars, and corrupt governments. We experience broken relationships, diseases, mental health struggles, and the loss of the ones we love. All around us creation is groaning in brokenness crying, “These things should not be.”
And yet God looked at this broken world with love. His response to the rebellion of humans was not condemnation, but restoration. He would take on the form of a human and come into the sin-filled world. He wouldn’t hold himself apart from the pain but rather enter into it with us.
But he didn’t just come to wallow in the pain, but rather to rescue us from it. In the form of a servant, he lived sinlessly, so that he could die our death, and rise from the dead to conquer sin and death. His suffering would bring forgiveness to all who seek him.
Not Without Hope
We still groan and grieve, but now not without hope. On the night that this verse was sung, God pulled back the curtain on his power. We have joy because God and his goodness exist in the world. The angels sang when Christ was born because through his life, death, and resurrection death would lose its power. This moment is just a peek at that glory!
When we understand his glory it doesn’t just sit in our own hearts, but it’s contagious in the best possible way. Peace oozes out of us when we see and understand what Christ has done. Spreading love and joy to those around us. This is just one piece of the way the Kingdom of Heaven is made to become peace on earth!