The Message of the Angels

To-day the traveler crossing the desert lands of Syria or Arabia may chance to see a great flock of sheep and goats guarded by their shepherds around them during the whole of the dark summer night. It was to men like these that the message of the angels, hailing the birth of a new idea, came nineteen centuries ago, leading them, as it leads us to-day, to the place where the young child lay. The event is recorded in the second chapter of Luke's gospel. There were "shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night," when the angel of the Lord, the thought of divine Mind, came to them, "and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid." The angel reassured them with the words "Fear not," for it was not until their fear had been cast out by love that they could receive the full message of great joy. Then, as if from the mouths of a multitude of the heavenly hosts, came the words, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

These words are seen to contain the whole gospel which was to be preached and demonstrated to men by the child who was now lying in the manger at Bethlehem, an epitome of the two great commandments, the love of God and the love of man. When at a later period Jesus was asked by one of the scribes which was the First Commandment, he answered: "Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

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On Doing Our Best
December 10, 1921
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