Praying the Sermon: "The Heavenly Host"
The prayer points below are in response to C.J.'s sermon on Luke 2: 8-14.
Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
J.I. Packer - Angelic activity was prominent at the great turning points in the divine plan of salvation.
Heavenly Father, help us to grasp the miraculous wonder of this scene – angels, who surrounded the throne to worship, praise, and adore the Lord of glory, now proclaim “glory to God in the highest” around this same God, come as a babe. Please open our finite hearts and minds to a further glimpse of this awesome spectacle, that we too might more deeply worship you with the glory due your name!
Luke 2:10 “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
The angel announced that the one most offended by our sin provides a way for us to be forgiven of our sin by sending His Son to save us from His wrath against our sin.
Lord, may every viewing of a Nativity scene remind me of the one who came, to whom he came, and why he came.
And whenever I pick up my Bible, may I be reminded of all that points to this scene, and reminded of all that results from this scene.
J.C. Ryle – Now has come the highest degree of glory to God, by the appearing of His Son Jesus Christ in the world. He by His life and death on the cross will glorify God’s attributes – justice, holiness, mercy, and wisdom – as they were never glorified before.
Father, let me not sentimentally confine my thoughts of you, the living God, to but a few of your attributes. As I read your Word, meditating on these passages about the incarnation, may those attributes listed by Bishop Ryle, begin for me an even longer list of attributes for which I can thank and praise and worship you!
Luke 2:13 …and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.
IVP New Bible Commentary – The point is that through the birth of the Messiah God extends his favor to people who have done nothing to deserve it; and he graciously grants them peace. Peace expresses the nature of salvation as the restoration of good relations between God and sinful people and the consequent reception of his blessings.
God’s gift of peace is given to those he is pleased to call through the gospel. God’s gift of peace comes to all who respond to the gospel. And if there is no peace with God, there is no peace on earth.
Lord, as the world around us desperately longs for peace – hoping to find it in systems and structures, in people or in things, in being given or in taking – may we graciously, but boldly share the gospel. In this holiday season especially, and now looking back on this past year, give us opportunities to remind others of the futility of looking for peace apart from the Prince of Peace. Grant us wisdom to communicate that our greatest need is not peace between races, or cultures, or parties...but peace with God through Jesus Christ.
The angel said, “For unto YOU is born this day in the city of David, a Savior”, not “For unto US…”
So, in a way they are unlikely guests because they have no need for salvation, but they are the best possible guests to make this announcement because they marvel, truly marvel at why things would change for the One they worshipped; and they are unrestrained in their celebration that the Word has become flesh.
And if they marvel and celebrate how much more should we marvel and celebrate, for this was all for sinners like you and me!