An angel of the Lord appeared to them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid."
"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."
What is the best news you’ve ever received? With perseverance you pursued that dream job, and after a series of interviews you get the answer you worked for: You’re hired. For years you and your spouse hoped and prayed to start a family and finally receive the news you’ve been longing for: You’re going to have a child. Through treatment after treatment you battled cancer and finally hear what you’ve been fighting for: You’re in remission.
But good news seems to be few and far between in life, doesn’t it?
Bad news dominates the headlines. In fact, we tend to gravitate toward bad news, as seen by statistics that show that we are much more likely to click on negative headlines than on positive headlines. This shouldn’t surprise us. After all, are we more likely give thanks or to complain about something? And how often do we talk about how good someone is as opposed to how frequently we gossip about what so-and-so did this time?
Let’s sit with the shepherds on a quiet night some 2,000 years ago. They weren’t much different than you and me. They lived in a 'bad news' society. They were ruled by a foreign power that taxed them heavily. Their local king flexed his authority in decadent and sometimes brutal ways. And then there were the hardships of everyday life. You don’t think they complained about life like we do?
To better understand their situation and ours, we need to realize that we live in a fallen world. This was once a perfect world, "very good" as God declared at the completion of His creation. (Genesis 1:31) But then, "sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned." (Romans 5:12) In this way, bad news came to all mankind…and that news cycle has continued ever since. Bad news dominates the headlines because sin dominates this fallen world and permeates our lives.
But into the dark of night, into this dark of life, good news broke forth with a brilliant light – "Good news of great joy for all the people!" The good news is simply this, that Jesus was born to bear sin "for all the people," to make you right with God, to give you the promise of everlasting life. And although you may be so accustomed to bad news that you are skeptical of any good news, take note that this good news meets your greatest need, proclaiming a cure to sin and death, flinging open the doors of heaven to you.
Still, you may wonder if it makes any difference in this world, because after all, doesn’t bad news still dominate the headlines, and don’t we taste a fair share of it in our own lives? But wherever the good news of great joy in Jesus is shared, good things are happening. Every day, sins are forgiven as the good news is shared. Every day, burdens of guilt are lifted. Every day, restless consciences are set at peace. Every day, those naked in shame are clothed with God’s grace. Every day, broken hearts are lifted with a heavenly hope. And in the end, we will see that this good news in Jesus is just the beginning.
See how the blessings of Christmas extend throughout the year to fill your everyday life!
Follow "The ABC's of Christmas" series:
INTRO, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X
Questions or Comments? CLICK HERE TO CONTACT DANIEL.
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.