Monday, 22 January 2018

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Blogs > Great Joy

Great Joy

 A young graduate who lands his dream job.   

 A bride on her wedding day.

 A grandmother holding her first grandchild.

 What do all these people have in common?  Odds are each of them is experiencing great joy.

What about us?  When is the last time we experienced great joy?   Can you recall it?  Or, has it been a while?

In the Christmas story we encounter some shepherds.  Being a shepherd is a hard way to make a living.  Their job description included long nights, inclement weather, and low status in the eyes of their neighbors.  To be perfectly honest, being a shepherd probably resulted in little enjoyment.   

Luke tells us that there was a group of shepherds living in fields just outside of Bethlehem.  They were keeping watch over their flocks at night. 

I can’t help but think about those shepherds.  Were they silent, or did they talk the night away?  Did only one stay awake at a time while the others rested? 

In the blink of an eye, in a flash of glory, an angel appeared; seemingly out of nowhere.  And then the shepherds heard the best news that has ever been declared on Planet Earth:   “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you.  He is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 

What strange news! 

Why—out of all the people on earth—did God choose to announce Jesus’ birth to shepherds? 

I can’t help but wonder if the angel wasn’t surprised at this himself.

We know what happened next.  The shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph—and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

Have you ever been around someone who has just received great news?  They are usually bubbling over.  They can hardly contain their joy.

Such was the case with the shepherds. 

When they had seen the baby, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child.  And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

What about us?

Unlike the shepherds, we never got to peer into the manger. 

Unlike Thomas and the other disciples, we have not seen the risen Lord Jesus with our own eyes.

There is good news for us who have not seen.  There is a special passage for us to take to heart this Christmas. 

“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him.  And even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.  For you are receiving the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”  (1 Peter 1:8-9).

We have just as much reason to rejoice as the shepherds. In Christ we have an inexpressible and glorious joy.  For in Christ we arel receiving the goal of our faith—the salvation of our souls.

If you have Christ you have every reason to rejoice this Christmas season.  When you get right down to it, all you really need to celebrate Christmas is Christ.

 

 

 

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