Get to the Glorias

by APC on December 11, 2019

December each year meant one thing to the kids of our church: the looming Christmas pageant. In the season where good-naturedness should abound toward all humans, rivalry set in between my Sunday schoolmates and me. Everyone wanted a part in the Christmas pageant depicting the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And, not just any part; only the good ones (i.e., prominent figures who had lines).

I always had my eye on the angel role. I didn’t care if I was a back-up angel or the main cheese, but I wanted to wear the white robe, wings, and wire wrapped in silver garland for the halo. (Honestly, I’d wear that all the time, even outside of pageant practice if I could.) I figured my schoolmate was an automatic shoe-in for the part because his name was Gabriel (of all names), but I was happy to be his sidekick, if selected.

One year, my dreams came true, and I was cast as an angel of three in our church production. The angels would recite lines in unison. You can imagine my impatience as I waited around during practice to get to my lines. Because come on, they were the most important ones in the whole Christmas story. Mary, Joseph, and this Jesus character (played by someone’s baby doll) surely weren’t the main focus of the shindig. I needed to get to my “glorias in excelsis deo” for crying out loud.

As a youngster, I didn’t entirely understand the importance of the birth of Christ, nor sharing the stage with other people. But, even with my skewed perspective of the angel role, I had narrowed in on something that most people miss when it comes to celebrating Christmas:

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:13–14, KJV).

We’ve really outdone ourselves in society with our imposed standards in how we think we should celebrate the Christmas season. Menus need to be intricately planned, table settings layers deep, themed Christmas trees, and homes fumigated with the scent of cinnamon, pine, and winter (whatever that is…) And, it’s not just our homes. Sometimes it creeps into other areas of our life, even the church.

How often do we take a step back and realize that Christmas, like every other time of the year, should be about praise to our Lord and Savior? The angels weren’t the focus of the main event, but they keyed in on a very important activity: praise.

In the midst of a coming Savior, a couple expanding their family and embarking on a new journey into parenthood, and wise men traveling great distances with luxurious gifts, Scripture takes a moment to call attention to what most of us would consider “side” characters and secondary roles. Here is where my childhood notions ventured toward something that was right.

We see a messenger angel, who is joined by a multitude of other angels, to lift up praises to God in the midst of all the activity. Scripture paused for a moment to center, not on the angels themselves, but on what they were doing—praising the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

This Christmas, we can’t forget to take time to praise our God for who He is, what He’s done, and what He will do. We don’t even need to don a white robe and glittered wings to do so. Praise should be as natural to us amid the tree trimming, gift exchanges, and times we enter into the church house as every other time of the year. Don’t miss it. Channel my childhood impatience and get to your “glorias,” and celebrate this Christmas season.