“Be safe,” uncounted angels urged, and watched with apprehension as the One who made them want to sing stepped down through light years and past planets to a home in Mary’s silent womb. It was the first time they had ever been without His joy. How would His strange descent to live among the broken, tragic, helpless race of humans—letting Himself be born as one of them—affect the ceaseless happiness of heaven?
And so they practiced for nine months, suggesting harmonies so rich and descants they had never tried, to craft a song—the perfect song—for that first night He would appear, an infant wrapped in birthing bands. They found from months of searching just the audience they wanted—sleepy shepherds in the fields—who never had heard music of that quality or kind.
And when the birth had happened, when months of pent-up chorusing became unstoppably joyous, they burst forth on the hills near Bethlehem: “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14).
Grace was always heaven’s plan: peace and goodwill are what our God has always offered us. Jesus, “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world” (Rev 13:8), was first chorused to a flock of shepherds. And the joy of those who sang—and the joy of those who heard—has set our world in motion with the rhythms of His grace.
Be listening for the music as you celebrate His birth. And stay in grace. -Bill Knott