The Alarming Message at Bethlehem

As I was praying about the critical and somewhat sensitive situation on the Korean Peninsula, I happened to read this very encouraging message from the Magnificat (my favorite daily devotional book). It is written by the Very Rev. Robert Barron. Since it was sent to me (and to all Magnificat subscribers), I feel free to post it here (in quotations).

“Luke tells us that on Christmas night an angel appeared to shepherds keeping watch over their sheep. Don’t get sentimental about angels, imagining them to be sweet and unthreatening. Instead, keep in mind that the typical reaction to the sudden manifestation of a higher being from another dimension is, quite properly, fear. Indeed, the Christmas messenger says to the shepherd, ‘Don’t be afraid,’ which implies that they were!

“The angel announces the Good News of Christ’s birth, and then we are told that ‘there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel praising God . . . ‘ If one angel is terrifying, imagine what a multitude of them is like. The Greek word that is translated as ‘host’ is straitias, which means army. Our words ‘strategy’ and ‘strategic’ are derived from it. The most powerful man in the world at that time was Caesar Augustus, and his power was grounded in the fact that he had the biggest and best-trained army. The rather subtle and subversive point that Saint Luke is making is this: the newborn baby of Bethlehem has an even bigger and more frightening army. Mind you, this angelic army doesn’t fight with the weapons of the world, but it can indeed overwhelm anything that is in the world.”

So friends, we need not worry about the presence of those mighty armies on the Korean Peninsula. God has His own spiritual army, and He will prevail. God is working His purpose out, and time is drawing near. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” (Luke 2:14)

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