What seems to be the incessant chant of popular religion today? Isn’t it “Love! Love! Love!”? What seems to be the greatest commandment of our culture today? Isn’t it “thou shalt be nice”? When Santa Claus is made the mascot of Christmas and “Ho! Ho! Ho!” is the cheer, we tend to forget the offence of the Gospel in the message of Christmas.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!
As Christians, we need to be reminded that the news of a Saviour born two millennia ago ought to bring us joy today because the incessant chant in heaven is “Holy! Holy! Holy!” and a Holy God cannot be partial to sinners.
On November 15th, the Crew onboard “Golf Charlie” sat down to study what the Shepherds heard the angelic choir sing during the first Christmas – “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:14) The Chief Engineer, the Cookie, and the Crew of about 12 men were taught what the phrase “with whom He (God) is pleased” actually means. I preached that it is dangerous to take the phrase to mean that God grants peace to those who have found success in pleasing Him. From various scripture passages I showed them that it is impossible to please God by what we do, speak and think as fallen men. I presented a short survey of how we have become enemies of God, and that we have no peace with Him. I preached that there exists a need for a Saviour because we needed to be saved – not just from sin and death and hell, but ultimately from the righteous wrath of God! Towards the end of the preaching, we turned to Luke 3:22, where God speaks from heaven of Jesus saying, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Only one man pleased God. Only one man had peace with God. The Crew listened closely as I read from Romans 5, “…we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This is the good news – peace with God through Jesus Christ alone! This is the peace that the angels sang of on the first Christmas. The joy of Christmas lies in knowing that Holy God has demonstrated His love by sending us a Saviour – the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you a seafarer reading this? Do you have peace with God now? When all the world is singing “Ho! Ho! Ho!” at this time of year, would you dare to imagine standing in the presence of God with a multitude of angels singing, “Holy! Holy! Holy!”?