Good News of Great Joy

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Luke 2:10

Imagine how exciting it would be to hear that you didn’t have to pay tax for the next year. Picture your ebullition if you heard that you had inherited a million-dollar bequest from a distant relative! Envision the promotion you’ve always longed for actually becoming a reality! Or visualize the bank manager phoning you up and informing you that an anonymous person had paid off your mortgage!

If any of these scenarios became a reality, it would be good news.

Like most people, I like to celebrate good news with others. If something good has happened to me then I want to tell my friends and family all the details and let them share in my joy. When it’s someone else’s good news then I’m your man for a party!

That’s why I enjoy Christmas so much. It’s the celebration of the greatest news the world has ever heard – God is with us! “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us” John 1:14. Without a doubt this is “good news of great joy” Luke 2:10.

Yes, Christians the world over are once again rejoicing because of the birth of the Messiah. They’re giving thanks to God for His indescribable gift (cf. 2 Corinthians 9:15) and remembering how the angel of the Lord announced “good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Did you notice that? The “good news of great joy” is for “all the people.” It’s not just for Christians. Even though the Christians are busy celebrating the birth of Jesus, their celebration isn’t exclusive. Everyone’s welcome to share in the “good news of great joy.” Every man, woman and child is invited to hear that “a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” Luke 2:11.

That’s the kind of good news I like to hear. Good news for everyone. Good news for people of every tribe and tongue and nation. The trouble is, we’re so conditioned to receiving bad news that we often miss the good news. Some folk miss the fact that the reason for the season is that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. That’s what’s being celebrated with gift giving and turkey dinners. “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” John 3:17.

Isn’t that awesome? I don’t know why it hasn’t been recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the most newsworthy item of all time! After all, it’s the only birth that’s been ushered in with a great choir of angels praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest” Luke 2:14. And it’s the only birthday that’s been celebrated continuously for more than two thousand years!

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