The Right Reverend John Bryson Chane, Bishop of Washington and Dean of the National Cathedral, considered the meaning of the Christmas miracle in his Christmas Sermon.
And what was God thinking... when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the Law to Moses?
And what was God thinking... when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the sacred Quran to the prophet Muhammad?
And what was God thinking... when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
Were these just random acts of association and coincidence or was the Angel Gabriel who appears as the named messenger of God in the Jewish Old Testament, the Christian New Testament Gospels, and the Quran of Islam, really the same miraculous messenger of God who proclaimed to a then emerging religious, global community and to us this morning that we are ALL children of the living God? And as such we are called to acknowledge that as Christians, Jews and Muslims we share a common God and the same divine messenger. And that as children of the same God, we are now called to cooperatively work together to make the world a haven for harmony, peace, equality and justice for the greatest and least among us.
We can figure out what was God thinking in the very pronouncement that Bishop Chane speculates upon. In Luke 2:13-14 (NIV) it says:
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
So, was God saying there all people should be in a world of harmony because we are all God's children? I am afraid not. It is those whom God's favor rests who receive peace. The great monotheistic religions of the World claim different ways a person receives God's favor. We either must pick one or reject all of them. The "feel good" option — we are all God's children — is not on the table.