07. Good News of Great Joy

Manger at night under fog

Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
Luke 2: 8 – 14

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to each of you. As we near Christmas I wanted to take a moment and break from our current series and spend a few moments reflecting on the scriptures above. As Christians, this is a story we are intimately familiar with. God has come to Earth to bring good news of great joy for all people, and on earth peace. What a beautiful thought, especially in these days when we are surrounded by so much fear, angst, and anger. Much of it is understandable. Each day brings new stories of death, persecution, and general discontent among all mankind. It seems we couldn’t be any further from this peace on Earth that we were promised so many years ago.

So where is God?
Why has His promise failed?
Where is this great joy that we were promised in the birth of a child?

Perhaps we’re looking in the wrong place.

Perhaps we are expecting God to sweep the Earth clean, wiping evil and discontent from the face of the Earth so that we can experience joy. Perhaps we expect too much. Maybe the birth of Jesus was less about Him coming so that He might die, and more about Him coming to show us how We might live. Jesus came not in the trappings of a King, but in the birth of a small, innocent baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. He didn’t come with a full procession of soldiers and angels ready to sweep the Earth clean, but instead with a song, in the laugh of a child, and the cooing of a baby.

Maybe Jesus’s story is meant to show us how we can work to bring joy and peace to the world around us ourselves. Maybe we’ve gotten it backwards.  We’ve spent so much time praying for God to bring peace that we’ve neglected that role ourselves. So I urge you to look around you this season. Look into the eyes of a child, listen to their laugh, and find that joy deep within your being. It’s there, sometimes it’s hidden and stacked behind boxes and baggage, hard to find. But there is childlike joy and peace that you are capable of sharing this season. I urge us all to take a step back, put down the glass of fear, and drink deep from the goblet of joy. And then spread it far and wide.

Spread Love, Spread Care.  Lend your shoulder to cry on and your ear to hear despair. Do this for all mankind regardless of color, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, or religion.  Say thank you to the person who wishes Happy Holidays or who wishes you nothing at all.  Rather than fighting a war on Christmas, let’s give of ourselves this Christmas.

Merry Christmas, and may we find our way to share peace on Earth and goodwill among men in whatever way we can this year.

God Bless You.

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