“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
Other ancient authorities read: …and on earth, peace, goodwill among people… and the paraphrase The Message puts it like this: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.” Obviously, the first part of the angel’s chorus is praise to God. The second part may be a bit more convoluted. Perhaps peace is only for those people that God likes, or maybe peace and goodwill will be abundant for all, or that only those who please God will receive God’s peace. I personally prefer the abundance of peace and goodwill for everyone. That way, I get a gift without having to first get God’s favor.
But, although I know that God loves me without reservation, I do have to respond to that love in order to receive God’s peace. In other words, I must be able to surrender to God before I can receive the peace that passes all understanding. If I am still worried, I have not surrendered all and I am not at peace. If I try to control things and do it all my own way, I will be as far removed from peace as possible. If I know what God asks of me but I do not do that, then God’s peace will be elusive.
To have God’s favor, to please God, to follow as God commands, that is the road to peace and goodwill… for all people.
God, you ask me to surrender. You ask me to follow. You ask me to please you. I pray that I can do so and receive your peace that passes all understanding. Amen.