Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Peace on Earth Good Will to Men: An Angel's Story

I am an angel of the LORD, a messenger of God. 

 Today I am being sent to you to give you a message that GOD loves everyone. The good news is a gift from the Almighty for all people everywhere. 

I remember the day the announcement came for us to prepare for the birth announcement. All of Heaven was rejoicing. Excitement filled the air. 

The angels were flying about singing Glory to God in the Highest! Our joy filled heaven with anticipation of this great event. 

Do you know what event I am talking about? Please let me tell you the true story from the perspective of an angel of the LORD. 

It all started the day the angel Gabriel was told to go and give a message to a young maiden in Nazareth, a small town in Galilee. Her name was Mary. She was a gentle young maiden that loved GOD very much. She was engaged to a young man named Joseph. He was simple carpenter that was honest, faithful, and true. 

Oh, how excited we were to watch Gabriel prepare for his trip to earth. I could feel the tickles of joy crawl up and down my spine. For this was the greatest gift to ever be given. Peace on earth and good will toward men.

As in all gifts are free, it was free to be taken because grace was pouring out from heaven through this announcement. We peered down from heaven watching Gabriel appear to Mary. Oooh, He gave her such a fright! 

He said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Her face creased with fear. She did not realize that GOD found great pleasure in her and chose her special for this tremendous occasion. 

Gabriel instantly tried to calm her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with GOD. You will be with child and give birth to a son. You are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The LORD GOD will give Him the throne of this father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His Kingdom will never end.” 

It was at that moment, I realized all of Heaven was silent. Every angel held their breath in anticipation of Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel. 

Her eyes lowered as she whispered to Gabriel, “How can this be since I am not married?” 

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of GOD,” Gabriel replied. 

As the words rang from Mary’s lips, “I am the LORDS servant. May it be to me as you have said,” all of Heaven breathed again. We began to sing “Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth peace and good will toward men!” We exulted in the great gift of GOD in sending Jesus to man. 

Peace on earth. Good will to men.

There was a moment of hesitation in our singing as Joseph struggled with the news that Mary was with child. He did not understand about the baby.
The LORD dispatched an angel to him while he slept to give him this message: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save his people from their sins.” Joseph woke up and did as the angel of the LORD told him and took Mary as his wife.

Heaven danced again for the greatest gift would soon be born. 

Joseph and Mary traveled to his hometown of Bethlehem because of a census that Caesar Augustus decreed. We watched from heaven as they traveled the long road to Bethlehem from Galilee enduring the dirt paved road as the elements of the sun and moon paved their journey. Joseph had layered blankets on the donkey’s back so Mary could ride in comfort. His kind ministrations comforted her and allowed her to rest pleasantly. 

When they arrived in Bethlehem the little village was so crowded there was no place for them stay. Joseph went from house to house trying hard to find a room for them. The baby was to be born soon. 

An innkeeper saw that Joseph was very concerned. He felt so bad he did not have a place for the couple to sleep, but he had an idea. He walked Joseph and Mary around to his stable where he kept his animals. He said, “You can rest there!” 

A weary Mary walked into the stable and laid down to rest in the hay. Even the animals quieted waiting for the gift from GOD. Finally, a wailing cry pierced the night as Mary wrapped the baby in swaddling clothes placing him in the manger. 

At this perfect moment, a star appeared in heaven over the little town of David. Shining in all its glory, as the breath of heaven arrived on earth through the birth of the Christ Child.
Without haste, I gathered a host of angels in the sky above the fields where shepherds kept watch over their flock that night. The glory of the LORD shone around me as I appeared over the shepherds. Terror fell upon them as they fell hiding their eyes from the glory of the LORD! .

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born for you; he is Christ the LORD. This will be a sign to you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared praising God, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth good will toward men.”

As quickly as we appeared, we disappeared into heaven again to watch the gift of heaven be unwrapped by His children. 

The Shepherds were the first to capture the vision of the newborn babe. They knelt before Him as tears stained their dirt caked faces unable to speak words—as the beauty of promises fulfilled covered the face of the babe nestled in the loving arms of His mother. 

The shepherd’s ran and told everyone what they had seen and heard before they returned to their flock that night! All were amazed! 

Mary and Joseph were so proud of the baby Jesus. On the eighth day of His life, they presented the Christ child at the temple for all to see. One lover of God named Simeon was there that day. He loved GOD very much. He was waiting for the arrival of the Messiah. As he took Jesus in his arms with his weathered hands cradling Jesus gently. He knew he could go in peace.
A song burst from him, “My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” He announced to all people, “Jesus is for everyone including you and me!” 

Mary and Joseph marveled over what was said of their son, Jesus. 
In time Jesus grew. Do you remember the star that appeared the night he was born? Well, there were some wise men studying the stars that night. They saw the star when it appeared. They had heard that it was the star of the Christ Child sent to be the King of the Jews, GODS own gift from Heaven. So they traveled to find the baby Jesus. They traveled for many months to see Jesus bringing Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. What they found on the day they arrived was a great surprise. The gift they received was far greater than their gifts or their journey! It was the gift of life! 

God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. 

This is the free gift of Heaven. Joy made complete in the birth of a baby. The Baby Jesus was born for all people every where. 

It does not matter who you are, where you have been, or what you have done. God gave a gift by sending His One and Only Son! For all people everywhere. “Glory to GOD in the highest. Peace on earth and good will toward men.” 

Written and told by Dr. Tara Rye at Grace University in 2017 for the Introduction to Orality Story Celebration! 

Shallom y'all!

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