In Luke 2:8-14 angels from heaven appear to humble shepherds out tending their flocks.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
I cannot even imagine the awe and wonder that must have filled the shepherds. Seeing glorious heavenly beings, shining before them praising God and giving them the good news of the birth of their long awaited Savior, Messiah and Lord. They were even told where this glorious event took place, in Bethlehem. As Luke describes the scene he said the ‘glory of the Lord’ surrounded them. I can well imagine their fear at seeing such a radiant sight, but again the angels told them not to fear. God wanted them to rejoice at this glorious announcement not be overcome with fear.
Where do you see God in this event? In the heavenly angels appearing, the fact that the angelic beings spoke to the human shepherds, that the timing was perfect in announcing the birth of the Savior, that the angels knew exactly where Jesus was born and the angels radiated God’s glory around them. Truly it was a miraculous event that showed God’s glory. God’s glory is the total of all God’s attributes. God displayed His glory in the beauty and wisdom of His creation. Throughout history, God has revealed His glory to His people through His power, mercy, grace, judgement, holiness, love and every other attribute. In the Old Testament we see His glory symbolically represented by fire in a cloud. His glorious presence came to dwell in the Tabernacle and then the Temple as God came to dwell among His people. The Lord Jesus Christ reveals God’s glory completely. The angels were announcing the arrival of God’s glory in human form, His Son, Jesus. Hebrews 1:3 tells us “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Isaiah had a vision of the throne room of God in Isaiah 6:3 he describes the scene, “And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Ezekiel also recounted his vision of heaven in Ezekiel 3:12 “Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound as the glory of the Lord rose from the place where it was standing.” God is always surrounded by His glory and radiant power. Amazingly for us, in Jesus is revealed the fullness of God’s glory and we can know Him and experience His glory in our lives.
Knowing God is glorious scripture tells us that we can see His glory in His creation. Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Knowing that Jesus reflects God’s glory means that having Jesus’ Holy Spirit indwelling us gives us the power to bring glory to God by doing His work. Hebrews 13:21 “ equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
May you glimpse God’s glory in nature and in the working of Christ in your life.