June 4, 2023 | Duane Roberts
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“And in a flash there appeared with the angel a vast host of the armies of Heaven, praising God, saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest Heaven! Peace upon earth among men of goodwill!’”—Luke 2:13–14 (PHILLIPS)
A few years ago, I went to a worship concert with my wife and a few friends. It was an experience! I love live music, and I’ve been to some awesome performances in my time—even having sung in some epic concerts and operas—but no musical experience I had up to that point was able to compare with that night in Miami.
Hearing more than 20,000 people in unison singing to the Lord, passionately worshiping Him, is something I still remember vividly today. That concert was later made into a live album. Each time I listen to it I’m moved, particularly when the audience sings along with the musicians—sounding like one unified voice. Seriously, I wish you could have been there!
In Luke 2:14, we read about the greatest concert in history: the night the angels filled the sky to sing, “Glory to God in the highest Heaven! Peace upon earth among men of goodwill!” Now, I love the J.B. PHILLIPS translation of this passage because it says, “a vast host of the armies of Heaven,” which implies a large number of angels—some believe over 70,000. You could say this was the army of the Great King proclaiming the greatness of the Lord on the night His Son—the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace—was born!
Imagine being a shepherd in the fields on this night who got to hear the angels’ voices. Just try to picture this indescribable scene of close to 100,000 angels filling the sky, singing in unison. Believe me, whatever you’re picturing in your head right now, no matter how awesome and fantastical and majestic, it could never do justice to the epic concert that took place on that world-changing night when Christ was born. And it was all done in order to declare the good news that the Savior had been born unto us.
There has never been, nor ever will be, news more spectacular than the Son of God becoming the Son of Man in order to deliver humanity from its fallen state. Nothing comes close! But if you ask me, the angelic host isn’t the most amazing and beautiful part of this moment. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: Danny, what have I missed here that could possibly be more amazing than the angel army singing praises to God? Well, it’s whom God chose to host this concert for! Of all the people He could have chosen to be the first to receive the news of Christ’s birth, He chose shepherds!
As we discussed yesterday, shepherds weren’t at the top of anyone’s social list in biblical times. They had a dirty job and were mostly considered outcasts. And yet, not only here but in John 10, Jesus identifies personally and directly with shepherds, even referring to Himself as the Good Shepherd.
And as I thought about this, another verse came to my mind where angels make joyful sounds. It’s found in Luke 15:10 (NLT), where Jesus says, “There is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” And guess what parable Jesus uses to convey this? A story about a shepherd and his lost sheep! In the same way the angels filled the sky to sing praises at the birth of Christ, the Father and His angels celebrate joyfully in heaven when a lost sheep comes back to the Good Shepherd!
Friends, as amazing as it would have been to see that concert, it doesn’t even compare with the joyful sounds that rang in heaven when you and I received Jesus. I pray we make it our mission every single day to help tune the band in heaven to play this song of celebration. I pray that by our lives, our testimony, and our words, God may be drawing more and more lost sheep to Himself.
Pause: Have you ever gone to a concert or musical performance that left you in awe? What was so special about the occasion?
Practice: With Christmas a few days away, you may be planning on attending a pageant, concert, or service. As you listen to the music, take a moment to remember the concert of praise and celebration that takes place in heaven when sinners repent, and pray there will be so much celebration this Christmas that an angel army’s worth of people come to know Jesus!
Pray: Lord, my Shepherd, this Christmas I pray that there would be much celebration in heaven! I pray You would draw countless lost sheep around the world to Yourself and that the gospel would go forth in ways we never thought possible. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.