News of Great Joy!

The birth story of Jesus is absolutely incredible. God chose to announce the birth of His son to a tiny group of shepherds in a field in the middle of the night. It’s very difficult to wrap our heads around just how significant this is. We buy the lie that really big things happen to us when we have enough time, money, or a big enough platform. “If only I had the resources to. . . ” becomes a mantra. Or we make excuses like, “Our church is too small to. . . ” But the reality is that the God of the universe announced His son, the savior of mankind, to a group of sleepy shepherds.

But the message of joy is just as important: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10, 11 ESV). This theme of joy is found repeated throughout the scriptures. During the time of Ezra and Nehemiah the Israelites heard the Law read and they began to weep. Nehemiah told them not to weep then said, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

The joy of the Lord is our strength! And the joy that comes because of Jesus’ birth is for all people. This is most definitely something that more people need to celebrate.