Sunday, December 12, 2021, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


During the Christmas season, angels emerge from the vale of obscurity. Children and adults begin to look for them with expectation.  Angels always have an active role in the lives of mortals, but when our hearts are turned to expect to experience their presence, their radiant likenesses suddenly appear in public places.  We catch glimpses of their shining wings here and there among the crowds of people.  We experience their presence as they interact in our lives.  Sometimes it is a slight touch on the shoulder, or hearing the echo of their voices in a song. Perhaps as I experienced yesterday an angel working beside me as I decorated my home. 


Pictures of angels come to us through Christmas cards.  Their presence lends a heavenly aura to the familiar joys of the season.  All this, of course is because Christmas time has come again.  Christmas time is a time when angels visited the earth and declared to us, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men.”     


Luke 2;10-15: The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  This will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloth, lying in a manger.” 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, goodwill toward men.”  So, it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

You have all heard my story of one Christmas when an angel visited me and wrapped me in a cloak of peace.  That peace has never left me, nor my house.  An angel of peace abides with me.  It is a grace of God. I preach on “peace” probably at least once a year.  Why do I preach so often on peace? 

I believe the greatest gift the Lord Jesus Christ gave to the world beyond our salvation. redemption and God’s love is the grace of peace.  If I could give peace as a Christmas gift to all my friends and family, it would be your greatest blessing with the exception of your salvation and righteousness through the power of the Blood. 

In the realm of the Kingdom of God are righteousness, peace and joy.  In this realm is happiness.   The carnal soul and its lusts cannot give you this peace and joy.  The world system cannot give it to you.  Carnality and the world do not own peace.  But you can own it.

Philippians 4:7; 9: ‘The peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ JesusThose things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you.’


The peace of God shall keep you!


The God of peace shall be with you!


The peace of God is only part of the blessing unless we have the God of that peace resident in us. 


A carnal heart could be satisfied if he might have outward peace, (drama and pressure free life).  Peace can be a place like living alone in a cabin on a mountain surrounded by snow with nothing but solitude.  For the Godly heart, outward peace is not enough.  I must have the peace of God.  Will that not quiet my soul?  I must have the God of peace.


In order to be fulfilled, I must enjoy God who gives me the peace.  I must have the cause as well as the effect.  I must see from whence my peace comes and enjoy the Fountain of my peace, as well as the stream of my peace.


The Holy Spirit fills our heart with Christ Jesus and therein dwells the fullness of peace.  Isaiah prophesied of the glorious treasures of the Kingdom through the coming Messiah, the Son of Righteousness.

“My Time in Heaven” by: Richard Sigmund:  "The third most beautiful and glorious place in Heaven is a glory cloud of the peace of God. It was the peace of His presence which surpassed all understanding. The first most glorious place he saw was God's Throne; the second, and equal to it was the Lord Jesus. The third was the fountain of all peace."

Col. 3:15: Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you are called in one body, and be thankful.

In God’s peace is unbroken relationships and unbroken covenant.  Yes, people may break relationship with you, but if you are walking in God’s peace, and if they are part of the Body of Christ, you will never break your love relationship with them.

The night of the Advent and birth of Jesus Christ was the first time the angels had ever seen God.  The Babe born in Bethlehem’s manger was the image, the exact likeness, of the invisible, unseen God (Col. 1:15).  As the heavens exploded with the thunderous praise of angels and the spirits of just men made perfect, the “I AM” wrapped Himself in flesh and came to earth.


Christmas time is angel time to all who love its story.  Children become starry-eyed with wonder as, in church pageants, they put on white robes and wings and portray angels in various ways---singing, blowing trumpets, playing on instruments, kneeling in adoration or standing guard around the little king.  We become childlike thinking and singing about angels.  There is scarcely a Christmas song which does not include them.  “Hark, the herald angels sing, glory to the new-born King” or in the majestic strains of “Adeste Fideles”: “Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation.  Oh, sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!” Or perhaps “O, Little town of Bethlehem”: “Glory streams from heaven afar.  Angel hosts sing, Alleluia!”


I have asked the Lord to release the Angel of Peace today that each person in this fellowship and those who read this message will rest in His supernatural peace.  That does not mean you will never face trials and tribulations.  It does mean, in the midst of these trials, you will continue to walk in this supernatural grace of peace.


We are sure to meet the angels again and again!  They are all uniting with us in voicing their praise to God.  We feel their presence every Sunday.  Angels stand at the door and greet us as we walk in.  Every Christmas we feel a sense of wonder as we recall the Biblical account of the events leading up to the birth of Jesus.  


First there was Gabriel…just the thought of the great archangel appearing suddenly in the temple at the Altar of Incense, causes us to catch our breath in awe. No wonder Zacharias was amazed and startled!  You let Gabriel appear to you, and see if you can walk or talk for days. 


The most celebrated of all angelic visitations is Gabriel’s annunciation to Mary of the coming of the Messiah.  Artists have attempted to portray it.  Musicians have tried to capture it in sound, writers and preachers have sought to paint it with words; but its ineffable beauty and glory elude human description.  Only the Holy Spirit has the power to recreate this scene in our hearts!  Nor must we overlook the importance of the special angelic visitation to Joseph.  For it was the angel who banished Joseph’s doubts and fears to prepare him to accept his honored role of foster-father, guardian and provider for the little “Son of the Highest.”  Then there were the shepherds who were keeping watch in the field.  We can only picture the open glory of the Lord, the angel who with clarion voice announced the birth of Jesus…. the great multitude of the heavenly hosts who praised God and felicitated mortals.


Angels kept watch over the Holy Babe as He lay in the manger or in Mary’s arms.  They mingled their adoration with that of the shepherds and the Magi.  Perhaps it was one of the angels who warned the Wise Men not to return to Herod, less they endanger the life of the child.


We know it was the word of an angel that Joseph was warned to flee to Egypt with the child and His mother.  No doubt angels accompanied them and protected them during the hazardous journey.  Then after several years had passed and the time had come when it was safe for them to return to their own land, it was an angel who directed Joseph and led them to Nazareth.


An Angel visited me and covered me in a blanket of peace which has never left me.  Holy Spirit, I ask you to release this angel today to those who will receive your peace.  It is fitting that angels should be remembered and honored for their ministration to our Savior.  Church, the angels are still here.  They desire to minister to us the same “Glory and peace” they decreed to the shepherds.


The Father has committed to them great responsibility, not only in connection with the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem, but toward every soul in whom He is born again.  Did we but realize it, we, too, have been the object of their care ever since were “born from above.”


Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Heb. 1:14).


Angels are not just for Christmas Day---but for every day.  Yet many Christians forget about them as soon as the advent season has passed, and seem to relegate them either to the past or to the future when Jesus shall appear again in glory. 


Angels are more active in the world today than they have been at any other time since the birth of Christ.  They will come into even closer proximity and more open association with men as we come into the new dispensation.  The Holy Spirit has opened our eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand what the Father would have us know about the ministry of Angels in and around us.


He has given his angels charge over us and over each of His elect.  We feel His heavenly host around us, covering us with clouds, shielding us from the diabolical forces now being released in the earth.


“Perfect submission, perfect delight,

Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;

Angels descending, bring from above,

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

This is my story.  This is my song,

Praising my Savior all the day long. –-- (Fanny Crosby)

Romans 5:1: Therefore. being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

Paul started his letters with the salutation, Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 

I pray the peace of God will flood your mind and hearts with Christ Jesus.

For God is not the author of confusion; but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

May the God of peace bless you, your families and loved ones this Christmas season with a visitation of His Great Grace for faith to believe. 

Look for angels.  Expect angels to minister to you and your families.  Expect miracles!  Expect a visitation of “peace” in the midst of chaos.  Expect a healing of your marriages and relationships.  Expect the Lord Jesus Christ to touch and heal.

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

Scripture from K.J.V. and N.K.I.V. I entered into the labors of God’s Angels by Frances Metcalfe; lyrics by Fannie Crosby; “My Time in Heaven” by Richard Sigmund;

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