“And the angel said to them, “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 Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!””Luke 2:10:14 ESV
We met the outcast shepherds yesterday. And today as we draw every closer to Christmas and the arrival of our Saviour, the long awaited Messiah, the serpent crusher let’s take time to pause and reflect on the message of the angels.
Yesterday we looked at how amazing it was that this message came to such outcasts, the lowest of the low. So today let’s look at the actual message. It is a message of great joy for all people.
The message is simple – we can have joy, for we have a Saviour. A free gift, given for mankind. Heaven touching earth, reaching out to us, freeing us from the sin curse. The only way we can respond is like the angels – with joyful praise.
You may not be feeling joyful now. The shepherds probably weren’t before the angels arrived. They were outcasts, shunned by society. Night after night they had to put up with the harsh exposure to the elements on a cold hillside with little shelter, constantly on the watch for threats to their sheep, continually on edge worried about attack from wild animals. They didn’t have much to be joyful about. Until the angels turn up.
Because everything changes when we realise what we see now is not all there is. We can have hope, and therefore joy, in all circumstances for we know our Saviour has come and in the end victory is Christ’s. Though we go through struggles and trials on the journey we know our eternal destination. We have not yet reached the end of the journey. The troubles will end, and we will find eternal peace and rest in the Father’s embrace. This joy is available to all who trust in Christ, for all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
That’s the simple truth summed up – joy for all. That is what we celebrate – Jesus, the reason for the joy. The sound of heaven touching earth is the sound of angels erupting in joyful praise. The message of Christmas is there can be joy for all, no matter your current circumstances, for we know the end of the story. The serpent will be crushed! So may you be full of the joy of the Lord in all things this Christmas, for Christ our Saviour was born, the sinless spotless Lamb who paid in full the debt and out of love came down to reach out to us. Rejoice, and share the joy!