THE BIRTH OF JESUS DRAWS PRAISE & GLORY
“The True Light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” – John 1:9 –
Gloria in excelsis Deo! Glory to God in the highest!
The coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ… a blessed event joyously celebrated in the heavens and the earth with praise and great glory to God. For hundreds of years, God’s prophets had told of the Sovereign One who would rule with power and authority over an everlasting kingdom… the Anointed One who would save His people from their sins… the Exalted One who would conquer death through His resurrection… the Holy One who would give eternal life to all who believe.
Mary, mother of Jesus, is visited by the archangel Gabriel who shares the wondrous news of her future role in God’s plan. She will miraculously give birth to the Son of the Most High. He will reign on David’s throne over a kingdom that will never end. Mary sings her praises to the Mighty One who has called her blessed…
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior… for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His name. His mercy extends to those who fear Him from generation to generation… He has helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as He promised our ancestors.” – Luke 1:46-47, 49-50, 54-55
Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, is also visited by Gabriel, bringing him news of the forthcoming arrival of the Messiah. Zechariah’s son will be the chosen one who will make way for the coming Christ. When his son John is born, Zechariah gives praise and glory to God Most High, prophesying about the long-awaited Redeemer…
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come to His people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David as He said through His holy prophets of long ago… to rescue us from the hand of our enemies and to enable us to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.” – Luke 1:68-70, 74-75
The birth of Christ is announced by an angel of the Lord to shepherds in the fields guarding their flocks. A host of heavenly angels suddenly appear singing praises to God for this miraculous birth… Gloria in excelsis Deo! Glory to God in the highest!
“‘I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ, the Lord.’… And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.’” – Luke 2:10-11, 13-14
The shepherds are overjoyed at the news of the Messiah’s birth. Heading into Bethlehem, they find the Christ Child just as the angels foretold, lying in a manger. They set off praising and glorifying God, spreading the news to everyone they meet of the arrival of the promised Savior.
“‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’… The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.” – Luke 2:15, 20
Magi from the east arrive in Jerusalem, inquiring as to where they could find the One born King of the Jews. Having followed His star, they had come to worship Him. King Herod sends them on their way to Bethlehem, the town prophesied to be the Messiah’s birthplace, asking them to send word when they find the promised Child.
Herod’s ulterior motive to do away with this newborn King, a threat to his kingship, is thwarted when the wise men are warned in a dream not to return to Jerusalem. When the Magi find the blessed Child in Bethlehem, they bow down in worship and praise before Him. They present Him with gifts fit for royalty… gold, frankincense and myrrh…
“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” – Matthew 2:10-11
Simeon, a righteous man filled with the Holy Spirit, is in the temple the day that Jesus is brought by His parents. The holy Child is to be consecrated to the Lord as required of all firstborn Jewish males. The Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not die before seeing the Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, Simeon takes Jesus into his arms and praises God for the arrival of the Light of the World…
“Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You may now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all nations: a Light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel.” – Luke 2:29-32
The Light of the World has come. This blessed season let us rejoice in the birth of our Messiah, our Savior, our King… Jesus Christ. Let us join in heaven’s celebration, exalting our holy God with praise and glory. Gloria in excelsis Deo! Glory to God in the highest!