Five Words Worth Remembering at New Year’s – Joy.

Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10

One of the most enduring Christmas hymns is Isaac Watts’ “Joy to the World.” It is based on Psalm 98 and was not originally intended by Watts to be a Christmas hymn (as I wrote about in the book “In My Father’s Footsteps Christmas 2016 Edition here).

But it is a perfect Christmas hymn for worship because this is certainly a time of great joy for all mankind!

shepards-star-largeThe angel announced to the shepherds that the birth of Jesus Christ was “good news of a great joy.”

What makes the news of the birth of Jesus a great joy is that his birth means he has come to save us all from our sins!

The only way he could do that was to shed his blood and die. That’s what all the Old Testament sacrifices and the blood of lambs and goats were all pointing to – the shed blood and death of the Lamb of God.

But in order to shed his blood and die, Jesus would have to be a human being. The animals of the Old Testament could only point to the salvation of man. They could not actually save man because they were not human!

Jesus’ birth means he’s now a human being who can bleed and die. And he would do just that some thirty years later.

This is good news of great joy!

There is another reason that this is good news of great joy and that is because it is now public news!

The announcement of the angel made it public knowledge. The group of shepherds would not keep this good news a secret or to themselves (as I wrote about here).

Not only the shepherds, but anyone who hears this good news is called upon to share it.

The original language of St. Luke’s Gospel – Greek – uses the word euangelizomai, a word from which we get our word “evangelism” from.

This good news of great joy is to be shared with other people. Actually, with all people.

And I don’t mean shared as a newscaster shares news stories on the 5:00 news – just reading a story that he or she has no vested interest in, a story that didn’t happen to them.

This good news of great joy is to be shared by us with joy because it actually happened to us!

The shepherds could share this good news of great joy with joy because they witnessed it. They heard the angels. They saw the baby Jesus.

And so we also hear the good news of the angels. In liturgical worship, the angels’ song is the Hymn of Praise used throughout the year (except usually in Lent) – “Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth.”

We see Jesus as well. He comes to us in, with, and under the bread and the wine in Holy Communion.

We hear Jesus speak to us through the reading and preaching of God’s Holy Word.

Yes, this is truly a season of great joy! Jesus Christ has come to save us all from sin, death, and the devil.

Good News of Great Joy for all people – and we can share that good news with great joy!

©2017 True Men Ministries


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