You will get different results if you search the internet for the most influential songs in music history. Opinions include Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Revolution by The Beatles. As followers of Jesus, we have a different perspective on such questions. Our perspective rises above human history and sees God, eternity, and our place in both.
One of the most influential songs in human history is a hymn found in Luke's gospel. By definition, a hymn is a song of praise to God. Luke recorded a hymn sung by an angel and the heavenly hosts at the time of Jesus' birth:
Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people he favors!
Let's focus on two words in this hymn: glory and peace. In Genesis, we see that humanity was created to live with the glory of God in view all the time. But in a sad moment of disobedience and rebellion, Adam and Eve chose to live for their glory instead of God's. The forbidden fruit looked delicious and offered them something only God possessed: the knowledge of good and evil. Let's think this through. When we disobey God, our choice is to say to God,
No, God. Your boundaries aren't what we want. Therefore, get behind us and take a back seat to our desires and sovereignty. We are the Lords of our own lives, not you.
If we are honest about ourselves, we have a glory problem. It causes us to indulge in works of the flesh, like criticism, complaint, anger, strife, jealousy, rivalry, and separation from God and others. We act this way when our demand for glory is delayed or denied, leading to no peace. Ask yourself: "Is my peace tank full?" If not, God is out of view, and you might be hoarding glory.
The song of the Angel and Heavenly Hosts addresses our glory problem and need for peace by returning our eyes to God's glory. When we stop pursuing glory for ourselves, we experience peace with God that is premised on humility about our capacity to sin, turning from it, confessing it, calling upon God to forgive us, and staying near to God for continued instruction and encouragement to live rightly according to his Word. We can only do this by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Truth of God's Word. Spirit and Truth deliver us from the grave of sin and to new life in union with Christ.
The hymn of the Angel proclaims the glory of God in Jesus, the sinless Son of God, who was executed and paid the price we should have paid for our sin problem. Through faith in Jesus, we can turn from vain, temporary, earthly glories to have everlasting peace with God. What a glorious proclamation!
Come Sunday at 10 A.M. for Lord's Day worship, which includes the Lord's Supper. Jesus calls you to his table so you can taste peace with God. Don't let a glory problem take you from the path of following Jesus!