Thursday, December 31, 2009

Army of Praise

…the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

~Luke 2:10-14

An army.  A multitude.   A great number.  What do these words call to mind?

I see endless seas of faces, rows of uniforms, numberless figures.  Countless individuals.

It struck me recently, for the first time, that at the heralding of our Lord’s birth, an army of angels could not help but burst into worship.  They literally filled the skies with their presence and song!  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God [Luke 2:13].
[For those more literally minded, I checked the actual definitions; military units are comprised of: Squad: 9-10 soldiers, Platoon: 20-40 soldiers, Company: 70-200 soldiers, Battalion: 300-1000 soldiers, Brigade: 3000-5000 soldiers, Division: 10000-15000 soldiers, Corps: 20000-100000 soldiers]

100,000. ~ An army.

Granted this is a human number.  Something we can quantify, something with which we can identify.  For perspective, I even had to take away from this value.  I have visited the Broncos’ stadium, said to hold upwards of 76,000; and for the purpose of this musing, I will use this quantification.  This is not, however a Biblically mandated, prescribed, nor described number.  It is merely a tool I am using to help me understand the magnitude of this passage. 

Can you picture 76,000 heavenly beings filling the sky with their radiant presence, their ethereal voices ~ all lifted in worship of the babe laying as willing, helpless sacrifice in a trough?  76,000 unable to stand idly by and watch as their king was born into human flesh.  76,00 bent on proclaiming His arrival on Earth.  76,000 desperate for mankind to see the gift they had been given.  76,000 pleading for us to recognize what they already knew.

The roar, the thunder, the magnitude of noise from such a number is palpable, infectious, deliberate.  These beings could not help but let the world know their king was amongst them.  They simply couldn’t help themselves.

What if we approached our worship with this kind of reverence?  If we couldn’t help but cry out to the world?  If we knew that we were joined by literally thousands of heavenly entities?  If every time we thought of Baby Jesus, His name was accompanied by the praise from a football-stadium of heavenly hosts.

Celestial beings couldn’t help but herald the arrival of their king into our world.  Let’s paint our faces, wear appropriate attire, dance and sing our hearts out for our King ~ Jesus, the Messiah!

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