Devotional

Good news of great joy (Luke 2:8-14)

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2: 8-14 NIV

The first Christmas did not get broadcasted to the world, but that did not stop God from spreading this good news of great joy to His people! He sent His angel, His heavenly host, to proclaim the arrival of the Savior, the Messiah, the Lord! And the first ones to receive this good news were the shepherds living out in the field.

The shepherds were locked out in the field watching over the flocks, and we are being locked down in the pandemic. I’ve just read on the news that the Covid-19 virus has now reached Antarctica. The pandemic has finally reached every continent on earth. How the world longs to hear the news about the virus being knocked out and disappeared on its own. How we long for being released from this chaos and going back to our normal life. This would be a good news of great joy to all nations. But it’s only temporary. We all know the virus is not the only problem we face in life. The good news that the angel proclaimed was not about a world without viruses, nor a doctor who can cure all diseases, but “born to you” – yes! to us, a Savior, the Messiah, who is the anointed One, the King. A good news that brings the great joy of eternity.

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” While there might have been other newborn babies swaddled in cloths in the city of Bethlehem that night, there was only one that was laying in a manger. That was the sign given to the shepherds when they were instructed to look for the newborn King. On the first Christmas night, born to us is:

  • A King who couldn’t be found in the palace but in a stable;
  • A King who abandoned His heavenly home and glory and chose to come to this world without a place to lay His head;
  • A King who came to serve and not to be served;
  • A King who wore a purple robe, a crown of thorns, and held a reef on the right hand;
  • A King who would be pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities.
  • A King who was born to die; and died to bring many to life;
  • A King who brings true peace, joy and hope that last through eternity.
  • A King who would want to be my friend and the lover of my soul;
  • A King who would be Immanuel forever.

He is the good news that brings great joy to all people! His name is Jesus. He is the King, the Lord, the Savior that was born to us, in a manger, on that first Christmas night. Merry Christmas, everyone! The light of hope was brought to the shepherds while they were living like outcasts in the field. Today, may the light also shine through all difficulties and challenges into our hearts. He has come, and He will come again! Let us join the heavenly host in singing praises and glory to our God in the highest, and proclaim the good news of Christmas!

Dear Jesus, thank you for giving us the good news of great joy, which is yourself! Thank you for coming from heaven to earth and took the form of a baby born in a humble manger for me. May peace and joy be with us this Christmas.

Shepherd's Watch 
by Michael Card
Shepherds watch, listening to lambs bleat
Tired backs, worn out and cold feet
All life long, living like outcasts
All life long, longing for life

A dazzling light the voice of an angel
Gripped with fear, terrified they fell
One like a man, yet awesome and holy
A face so fierce and yet strangely kind

"Do not be afraid, I've good news of great joy
Your Savior is come; He's Christ, the Lord
As a sign to you the One born today
Will be wrapped in rags, asleep on the hay"

And all at once the air filled with angels
Glory shone of holiness they smelled
"Glory be to God in the highest
And peace on earth to all those He loves"

"Do not be afraid, I've good news of great joy
Your Savior is come; He's Christ, the Lord
As a sign to you the one born today
Will be wrapped in rags, asleep on the hay"

"As a sign to you the One born today
Will be wrapped in rags, asleep on the hay"

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