Glory to God in the Heavenly Heights
The angel said to the shepherds, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
Luke 2:10-14 (The Message)
Several years ago I read a passage by Frank Peretti wherein a small congregation of believers was gathered in their church, singing hymns to the Lord. In their midst were the angels who had been assigned to protect their town and guard against the evil that inhabited it. As the humans began to sing, the angels also lifted their voices high and strong in worship of their Creator. That one short paragraph in a fictionalized novel continues to impact my own worship experiences day after day, week after week. Gathering together on Sunday mornings, standing alongside fellow believers as voices carry outside the walls of the Worship Center, I cannot help but sense the presence of a multitude of the Heavenly Host gathered among us with voices rising to the ears of our God – our worship a pleasant fragrance to our Lord.
It is my challenge to take these mountaintop experiences with me into each new week. It is sometimes a struggle to find that joy once again, but I have learned that God gives me an audience no matter what state I find myself in. He allows me, encourages me, to approach His temple that I may commune with Him and remember the Gift that He has given me. I am reminded of the angels who fight unseen battles around me every hour, every day. And when I return to that state of grace and lift my voice to the Father, with thanksgiving to my Savior, I feel the presence of those same angels as they share in my joy and join me in adoration and praise.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. In worship, in prayer, in times of great sorrow and certainly of great joy, I know that I am not alone. I know that Jesus is always and forever before and beside me. There is comfort in this knowledge. Though I may lose earthly loved ones, I will never be alone. Though my family be far away, though I cannot find a single friend, I am never alone. And if I sit still and quiet and let my thoughts travel beyond my mortal surroundings, I can suddenly see the heaven that awaits me and hear my Savior as He speaks of me to the Father.