The heavenly host announce the birth of Christ, praising God with these words. As we remember his birth, thousands of years later, we too praise God with these words. Glory to God in the highest heaven! He alone takes all the honour and glory for the extraordinary miracle of the incarnation. But the angels also declare the result of this miracle: by it, he will accomplish peace for those on whom his favour rests.
This peace is not a promise that all wars will end. Nor is it relief from all fear, want or misery. This peace comes, not to all people, but only to those on whom God's favour rests. It is the peace that comes from God's grace, brought to us through the child born that day. It is the reconciliation between God and his enemies, achieved through Christ, our peace.
Jeremiah's prophecy warns us about those who claim a false peace: '"Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace.' (Jer 6:14 and 8:11). Claiming peace when there is no peace is as dangerous as it is foolish.
Praise God today for the true peace he brings to his people.