Who would God invite to witness the most important birth on earth? We might be surprised as to the guests that God considered to be worthy.
I would like us to understand that worldly importance is unimportant to God. He has very different values.
We will look at God’s guest list and peace on earth.
Real breeding in heavenly style
The wealthy may flatter themselves that they have better breeding than the poor. Heaven may disagree. The announcement of Jesus’ birth was not made to the wealthy and powerful of this world, because God has different values than snobbery and selfishness. It is not because God is poor. He owns everything there is from here to the farthest reaches of outer space. But God understands true values. He announced the birth of the Christ to the lowest classes, among them unwashed and unkempt shepherds out in the field. Simeon was granted his dying wish to see the Christ child. He was a man whose only status was that he was righteous and devout. Anna had the privilege of announcing Christ. Her only status was that she worshiped and prayed night and day (Luke 2). Now that’s real breeding in heavenly style.
What Peace on Earth
Christmas proclaims peace on earth, but what peace on earth? That message only tells half the story. If we examine Luke 2:14 it has some other words as well. Many translations say peace on earth with whom God is well pleased or on whom his favor rests. That peace then seems to be conditional, rather than unconditional. In fact, one of the very first things Jesus experienced after his birth was a decided lack of peace on earth. He had to flee to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-23). In fact Jesus contradicted the idea that he came to bring peace on earth, by stating very clearly that he did not (Matthew 10:34; Luke 12:51-52). There is a real peace to those of good will, even in the midst of trials, a peace which passes understanding (Philippians 4:7).
Just as there is a peace which passes human understanding, so too is there a set of values that this world simply cannot understand. Let us learn from God what true values and true peace are.