Have you ever heard somebody sing “Gloria In Excelsis Deo”? I mean really sing it. Especially the Gloria part. It is from the song “Angels We Have Heard on High.” From Latin to English it means “Glory to God in the highest” from Luke 2:14. It is about praising God.
A guy named Rich Jones came to Wooster High School to sing as part of a Christmas program assembly for all students. I was 17 and watching the program in the gymnasium that still stands today.
I remember exactly where I was sitting and he instantly became the greatest singer I’ve ever heard. The passion, strength and tune that he sang “Glooooooooo-r- ia In Excelsis Deo” was in a way I still have never heard since. I recall exactly where I was sitting and the impact it had on me. It “brought the house down.” Every time I sing this song I think of that moment. That was just about 50 years ago.
The only thing that would match that moment was a few minutes later when the same guy started singing “fall on your knees” and that’s exactly what he did in front of 1500 high school kids – he fell on his knees while singing “O Holy Night”. He did not miss a beat. And again, every time I hear that song I think of that concert.
On that day, I got a glimpse of something that was beyond human comprehension about the child Jesus Christ. I got a glimpse of peace on earth – a deeper, more lasting peace – a peace of mind and soul made possible because of the Savior. Peace with God is received by faith in Christ (Romans 5:1) and His favor rests on Christian believers. I heard Rich sing it, I read it in the Bible (Luke 2:14) and I believe it.
Two verses before that, in verse 11, is the greatest announcement ever made in human history in my view: “Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
Are you aware of the significance of these verses and some of the music that came from them? Are you aware that Christ also brought conflict (Luke 12:49)? The peace with God that we talk and sing about at Christmas involves opposition to Satan and his work.
The significance lives on.
As the shepherds were told to “go and tell” many years ago, we are told to do the same! Who do you know that needs to be told about the good news of Christ?