“And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’” – Luke 2:13-4 (NASB)
Angels fill the Christmas story. One appears to Mary. Another meets with Zacharias in the temple. Joseph sees an angel of the Lord in his dreams. Even the wise men presumably see an angel; at the very least, they hear the voice of God in a dream.
Angels are everywhere, and yet they seem most fully present when they appear to the shepherds. One angel arrives, urging the shepherds to not be afraid. A multitude—a countless host—then joins the angel in a celebration of Jesus’ birth.
And it is a celebration. The angels aren’t mere messengers; the passage in Luke says they praise God. They, like the shepherds and wise men, glorify God for what is taking place: God is here, among men.
The angels sing out in response. They can’t help it. The angels must rejoice. They have to shout God’s triumph. And we get to join them this Advent season. We sing, “Let angels shout the triumph, as mortals raise their voice. Behold, the Son of heav’n and earth, the King of Kings is born.”