This song was sung by the angels to the shepherds on the hillside. “Gloria in excelsis Deo”; meaning Glory to God in the highest (Luke 2:14a).
When my sister learned to sing this song in choir she was told to pronounce it “in egg shells is day’o”. That was how I always thought of it and pronounced it. In choosing it for today’s visit with God, I looked up the meaning. Yes, I Googled it several days ago. I even got wrapped up in a site for “deep Latin meanings” where they were debating the syntax and the possible meanings. I’m content to stick with this simple one. I’m posting a link to let you check out the debate IF you want to.
I would have LOVED to be on that hilltop with the shepherds when the angel choir started singing! Can you imagine the sight and sounds? All Heaven stood and shouted in praise as Jesus made His entrance into humanity. They were SO excited they COULDN’T sit still! They HAD to praise God.
I don’t know if the angels knew everything that would transpire in Jesus’ life. They knew that Jesus’ birth was essential to His plan for reconciling man. They also knew He worked long and hard to get to this point. And they KNEW Who that new born Babe was. They didn’t need anyone to point Him out for them. They probably said “see You later” to Him as He set aside His Heavenly robes nine months prior. There was NO doubt in their minds.
I bet they wished it was the same for mankind. They started ‘helping’ that ‘wish’ along by singing to the shepherds. Because of their song, the shepherds would begin to circulate the story. The world wouldn’t credit them with this knowledge because of their station in life but they would carry this knowledge with them for the rest of their lives. I wonder if any of them found their way back to Him when He began His ministry.
Something else that this event brings to me is how God CHOSE shepherds as His first witnesses. As I mentioned earlier, they were of the lowest stations in society yet God chose to send His special messengers to them. There could be no mistaking who the angels were meant to visit. There weren’t any lawyers or doctors or priests on that hillside. Only shepherds. Men who were disposable and often disreputable. Yet God saw them as worthy to be the FIRST witnesses to His miracle.
God reaches down to each of us this same way. It doesn’t matter our station or our ‘level of sin’. His gift of Jesus is for ALL of us. There is none too dirty or insignificant for Him. There is ALSO no one too ‘high’ for the need of Him. For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We ALL need the Savior who arrived that night in the manger. Join me in remembering the angels’ song. Glory does INDEED belong to God!
Father God, thank You for Your precious gift. Without Jesus I have NO hope. I also look forward to hearing the angel choir in Heaven, unless You feel so obliged as to give me a personal sneak preview sometime. I give You ALL the glory for the work You did in my life! Keep me forever singing.