Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.

Hello Friends: 12.20.12- Song of the Angels

Hello Friends,

All throughout the month of December I’ve been highlighting five STORIES that revolve around five SONGS in the Book of Luke. This has been the focus of each week’s HELLO FRIENDS emails as well as each of our weekend worship gatherings at West Salem Foursquare. This series is called SHINE: The Songs of Christmas.

The first song was from Elizabeth – the mother of John (the Baptist). Secondly, we unpacked the song from Elizabeth’s cousin Mary (the mother of Jesus). Last week our focus was Zechariah (Elizabeth’s husband). And now, this week our attention is drawn to a rowdy group of angels in Luke 2:8-15.

These angels (which simply means ‘messengers’) brought Good News of Great Joy for All People. Their song has been referred to over the centuries as GLORIA IN EXCELSIS which is the first line in the Latin Vulgate and means “Glory to God in the highest.”

The Bible tells us that the glory of the Lord shone all around them. The word “shone” is the past tense of SHINE. In essence, the presence of God was amazingly bright and vivid in the dark fields where the shepherds were tending their sheep. It reminds me of a time that I was spending the night in a Beduin village in the desert outside of Jerusalem. In the late hours of the night, a handful of us left our sleeping area and walked a good distance away from the village. To say it was dark was an understatement. It was COMPLETELY DARK.

So, imagine with me, the night that the angels of the Lord “surprised” a bunch of hard-working shepherds. The glory of the Lord brought with it a bright light. It’s understandable then that the shepherds would be terrified. Fear would have been a justifiable response!

For a number of reasons, it is fair to say that we are living during a time of “great fear” and “terror” right now. This last week has had its share of traumatic events; school shootings, mall shootings, and the like.  We have a growing list of folks in our congregation that are experiencing very real, and troubling issues. My mind keeps going back to sweet Tabitha, who was joyfully serving with our Dream Center team one day, and then fighting literally for her life and limbs the next.



Not to mention, this is the week that world is supposed to end…if the Mayans have anything to say about it!

These are dark times. Evil abounds. Terror strikes.

Question:  What does the world need right now?

Answer:  Good News of Great Joy for All People.

Today we need some bold messengers to proclaim Good News of Great Joy for All People. 

Friends, that’s us.

Be the messenger of the Lord.

Shine a simple light in a really dark time.

Sing a simple song of glory unto God in the midst of a lot of clutter and noise.

Speak out the good news (which is the Gospel) with great joy (smile when you do it) for all people (all means ALL).


Pastor John

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