Christmas Through the Eyes of an Artist:
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!” (Luke 2: 13-14 (ESV))
GLORY TO GOD
Glory (from the Latin word gloria, meaning "fame” or “renown") is used to describe the manifestation of God's presence. In the Gospel of Luke, the word ‘glory’ is translated from the Greek word, doxa, also sometimes translated “brightness.”
Four responses to God’s revelation:
- Zacharias: Luke 1:5-25 Although Zecharias had prayed many times for his wife to conceive, when Gabriel came to announce Elizabeth to conceive John (the Baptist), the priest struggled to believe (vs 20) that what he’d been asking all along would finally come to pass.
- Mary: After initially questioning Gabriel [one of the few angels ever mentioned by name in scripture] about his announcement that she’d carry the Saviour in her womb, Mary’s response was to submit and give glory to God through worship: And Mary said, “My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!” (Luke 1:46-17). Later, Mary pondered and “kept all these things” in her heart (2:19).
- Shepherds: Luke 2: 8-20 Would Gabriel have been among the host of angels who came to the shepherd’s fields to announce Jesus’ birth? Was he the angel who spoke in verse 10? Scripture doesn’t tell us, but the angelic display and triumphal announcement was enough to cause the shepherd’s to “make haste” and go in search of this baby (vs 15-16).
- Simeon: Luke 2: 21-35 Scripture tells us that he was a “just and devout” man who awaited the “Consolation of Israel” [the comfort the Messiah would bring to His people]. He was alert (‘waiting’) and watching for salvation. The Holy Spirit (not an angel) told him that he would not die until he laid eyes on the Chosen Child. Although he’d blessed many newborns, upon seeing Jesus Simeon immediately KNEW this was the promised Messiah and “blessed God” in praise and worship (vs 29-32).