"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
Angels exclaimed this in Luke 2:14.
I on the other hand, mumbled it every Christmas pageant from the time I could talk until I was allowed to be something other than an angel.
These lines are rote. Routine. Overlooked because they are common.
But this proclamation that happened over 2,000 year ago was HUGE.
Large, immense, prophetic.
Gentle Jesus, bringing stillness - calmness - to earth.
A world full of cotton balls - that's what I imagine.
But no. That's not the peace He brought. He brings.
This peace that came wasn't for everyone. Generalized to all humanity. It wasn't peace among the nations. It wasn't peace between families. Or neighbors.
In Counting the Days, Lighting the Candles Elyse Fitzpatrick writes, "Jesus himself knew better than anyone else that love for Him might bring conflict in families - but in comparison to the assurance of peace with God, conflict with others is miniscule."
This peace that Jesus would bring wasn't light-hearted and soft and fluffy.
This peace was hard. Weighty.
It drove Jesus to suffer. To die on a cross.
Taking on the wrath of God.
Rising again. So that He could reconcile us to Himself.
Romans 5:1, "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
This peace was for "those with whom he is pleased."
John MacArthur would say "toward men on whom God's sovereign pleasure rests."
This peace was for those would are justified. Reconciled to God.
God is only pleased with us when we are at peace with Him.
Hallelujah that I have peace with God through Jesus.
That God's sovereign pleasure rests on me.
And may that drive me to say with gusto, unlike my church-y, forced-to-wear-glittery-garland-as-a-halo-days, "Glory to God in the highest!"