Saturday, December 24, 2011

Good News of Great Joy

As I was sitting here combing through the stories of Jesus birth, trying to find something new to write about, I realized everyone is trying to find something new, but what we forget about is what is old, the facts we know. The facts we know, but have not taken to heart.  In Matthew, I want to point out to you in Chapter 1 verse 21, an angel of the Lord tells Joseph “She will bear a Son and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” In Luke, a longer account is recorded. Let’s look at the announcement of Christ’s birth to the Shepherds. Luke 2:8-12 “In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” 

We could go on and on about different aspects of the Christmas story and that would be great, but I want to leave you with a simple thought or two. God the Son came to this earth is the humblest form, as a baby. His purpose was simple, to save His people from their sins. He is the Savior of the world. The news from the angels was good news of great joy which will be for all people. The shepherds may have thought, “Here will be a great leader, who will free us from the Romans.” I am glad that Jesus did not free the Jews physically from the Romans, but instead He freed the whole world from our greatest enemies: death and sin. He freed the whole world from the power of Satan. He gives the gift of salvation to all men.  If one believes in Jesus Christ, that He died on the cross for their sins and rose again, he has accepted this free gift.  This indeed is the greatest news of all time and yet we do not proclaim it to others. If we truly think that this is the greatest news of all time will we not yearn to tell others about the Savior of the world? Maybe that is our problem. Maybe, we don’t really believe it is the greatest thing that we have ever heard. Maybe, we think that our Savior is not worth other people’s time and maybe this holiday season has made us desire the things of this world, instead of what is really important. Friends, look to Christ and thank Him once again for all He has done. Remember Christ’s amazing and wonderful sacrifice, celebrate His birth with joy and make Him the reason why we celebrate Christmas. I will leave you with this hymn to dwell on.

  1. I cannot tell why He, whom angels worship,
      Should set His love upon the sons of men,
    Or why, as Shepherd, He should seek the wand'rers,
      To bring them back, they know not how or when.
    But this I know, that He was born of Mary,
      When Bethl'hem's manger was His only home,
    And that He lived at Nazareth and labored,
      And so the Savior, Savior of the world, is come.
  1. I cannot tell how silently He suffered,
      As with His peace He graced this place of tears,
    Or how His heart upon the Cross was broken,
      The crown of pain to three and thirty years.
    But this I know, He heals the broken-hearted,
      And stays our sin, and calms our lurking fear,
    And lifts the burden from the heavy laden,
      For yet the Savior, Savior of the world, is here.
  1. I cannot tell how He will win the nations,
      How He will claim His earthly heritage,
    How satisfy the needs and aspirations
      Of east and west, of sinner and of sage.
    But this I know, all flesh shall see His glory,
      And He shall reap the harvest He has sown,
    And some glad day His sun shall shine in splendor
      When He the Savior, Savior of the world, is known.
  1. I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,
      When, at His bidding, every storm is stilled,
    Or who can say how great the jubilation
      When all the hearts of men with love are filled.
    But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,
      And myriad, myriad human voices sing,
    And earth to heaven, and heaven to earth, will answer:
      At last the Savior, Savior of the world, is King.

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