Good News of Great Joy

As you look at the world around you, there is plenty to be afraid about – pandemics, an unstable economy, fast changing moral & cultural standards, wars and rumors of wars breaking out at any time. The list goes on and on.

When the angel appeared to the shepherds announcing the birth of Christ, he started by telling them not to be afraid. Verse 9 tells us the shepherds were, “…& they were terribly afraid”. I am sure that if we saw an angelic heavenly being, we would be too. But being afraid, or fearful, is a common human response to all kinds of circumstances. As mentioned in the paragraph above, all of us have plenty to be fearful about. Fear can shade & limit our view of life. It can keep us from seeing & taking advantage of the good in the midst of the bad.

The angel began his message by addressing the shepherds basic reaction – fear. Whatever you or I are afraid of or about, we need to put that fear aside, then listen, & heed the message of hope given to us thru God’s Word.

The angel went on to give them a message of  great significance – one that was “good news of great joy”.  If we are honest, we all crave, seek, & hope to hear something that will relieve our fear & bring us joy. We are tired of being tired & afraid. But also notice that the birth of Christ was great news for all people, “which will be for all the people” – to those who have & those who have not, those who already know & those who are yet to know, & for those who care & for those who do not care. In other words, the news the angel delivered is applicable to all of us.

The angel’s message was that “there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”. The Promised One who takes away the sins of the world, by providing the way for forgiveness of sin & eternal life with God, thru His death on the cross has arrived. With Him comes an abundant life with joy in the midst of indescribable trials, troubles, & tragedy.

This Christmas, set aside what you fear the most & rejoice in the good news about Christ. If you have not already done so, admit your need of a Savior, believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior, & confess your desire to follow Him by faith & obedience. If you have already accepted Christ as your Savior, rejoice in His coming & share your joy with family, friends, & loved ones around you.

Pastor Arnold