The Second Noel – Part One

Luke 2: 9 – 14

Jesus’ birth was attested to by citizens of Heaven and attended by citizens of earth. In it two worlds merged: the world of the natural and the world of the supernatural.  For that reason His name was called Emmanuel, which means, “God with us.”

Christmas, the celebration of His birth, does many things for all of society. One thing it does is rekindle HOPE. In a culture where there appears to be so little hope, rejoice over its being available to all.

The song writer Oscar Hammerstein in talking about his personal philosophy once said: “I cannot write anything without hope in it…when people point out that the world has evil and ugliness in it…I merely point out I know about all of those things, but I choose to align myself to the hope side of life.”

My heart sings with Mary Martin those lines given to her by Hammerstein: “I’m stuck like a dope in a thing called hope and I can’t get it out of my heart.”  

Hope is more than just a feeling—it is a vision, a way of looking at our world, a way of understanding the things that happen to us.

The Christmas story does not deny the presence of darkness, it just proclaims the presence of light.  

It doesn’t ignore the reality of bitterness and hate, it just declares the dominance of love. It shouts of hope.

Christmas is a pencil sharpener for the emotions making them sharper and more sensitive.

Imagine the hope that must have sprung to life in the hearts of those astonished shepherds just outside Bethlehem on that eventful night when the angels came to them proclaiming Messiah’s birth. There was a threefold exhortation by the angels. They said —

Glory to God. Peace. Good will.

A plethora of diversions tend to minimize the Christ whose birth we celebrate. 

Long before this guiding light Zacharias prophesied of another who would offer guidance: “The rising sun (Jesus) will come to us from heaven… to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

We pragmatic people tend to think of there being no other state of being other than those we can see and prove.  In doing so, we overlook the existence of the angelic band.

The Hebrew word for angel is the same as the name of the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi. It literally means “my angel.” I have a malachi and so do you. They are at work today as in the day of Christ’s birth. They are also called “ministering spirits.”

The text says there was a “heavenly host.” The word host actually means “army.” There was a large force of angels involved.

Daniel (7:10) said of angels “ten thousand times ten thousand attend unto God.”

The writer of the Revelation (5:11) spoke of “a world of angels.”

Hebrews 12:22 lost count and referred to an “innumerable company of angels.”  They are without number.

There are 108 references to angels in the Old Testament and 165 in the New Testament. They are referenced in the Garden of Eden and depicted as active in the Book of the Revelation. 

Together this army of angels spoke in praise to God.

The angels were the heralds of the one of which it was said, “His name shall be called Wonderful…”

Join the angels in praise this Christmas.