December 23, 2007

Songs of Shalom

Isaiah 9:1-7

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:14


Did you know that angels love to sing? They do. (Check out Isaiah 6 and Revelation 5.)

Jewish tradition states that the angels sang when God created the heavens and the earth. That's a sensible assumption (see Job 38:7). It's not surprising either that they sing at the birth of God's Son, for in the coming of Christ, God initiates a new creation. In his Son, God is making all things new!

What does that newness look like? Well, the angels sing of peace on earth. Peace is what our world desperately needs-not just a superficial end to warfare but true shalom, a wholeness to life that is born of reconciliation between earth and heaven.

But what does the Christ child do to bring about this reconciliation? Here's a clue. More than 30 years after the angels sing over the fields of Bethlehem, their song echoes as the Palm Sunday crowd sings, "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest" (Luke 19:38).

The angels at the birth of Christ sang of peace on earth. And as Christ made his way to the cross, the crowds sang of peace in heaven. Through the birth and death of the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), shalom has been established between heaven and earth.

If you embrace this truth, you too can sing your praise and thanks: "Glory to God in the highest!"

Prince of Peace, help us join in the angels' song. Help us celebrate the gift of <em>shalom</em> that spills over into lives where the fruit of peace is experienced already today. Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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