Good Tidings of Great Joy - Luke 2

Good Tidings of Great Joy

Luke 2:1-52

It was like any other night in the little town of Bethlehem.  Most people were at home in bed, sleeping soundly.  Some lowly shepherds were "living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks."  To their surprise an angel appeared before them, and the glory of the Lord shone brightly all around them.  Wow!  What a sight!  Like others who had encounters with angels, "they were greatly afraid."

The angel of the Lord had a message for the shepherds.  "Don't be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign to you: you will find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."  And then suddenly a great heavenly host burst forth into praise, saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men."  Just as quickly the angels left and returned to heaven.

The shepherds heard the message of the newborn Savior, a message of good tidings of great joy, so they sought the Babe of Bethlehem.  They had no star to guide them, but they wasted no time looking for Christ the Lord.  They went from manger to manger, and found Mary, Joseph, and the Babe just as the angel had said.

Now they had a message to tell.  They were now the bearer of good tidings of great joy.  They shared with Mary and Joseph all that they had seen and been told.  We don't know how many people had gathered at the manger.  But we do know that "all of those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds."

The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news.  Those who have heard and believed don't have to create their own message.  The shepherds weren't theologians.  They had no academic credentials.  It appears that they were just ordinary people, doing what they usually did.  They simply bore witness to what they had seen and heard.  That was enough.

We read that "Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart."  The shepherds weren't the only ones who would never forget their experience.  No doubt she remembered what the shepherds told her all the days of her life.  Some things are worth remembering.

Finally, the shepherds went back to their sheep.  They resumed their duties, keeping watch over their flocks by night.  Their vocation didn't change, and they didn't strike it rich.  But they were different.  "The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them."  They would never be the same.

The shepherds heard the message, sought the Savior, and shared the good tidings of great joy with others.  May this be our experience.

 

Heavenly Father, thank you for the good news of your Son.  The Babe of Bethlehem is indeed Christ the Lord.  He has become our Savior.  Help us become better witnesses for you.  In Jesus' name.  Amen! 

 

Fruits Worthy of Repentance - Luke 3

 
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Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
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