But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” [Luke 2:10-11]
I love this part of the Christmas story. (When I read it, I hear Linus’s voice in my head, from A Charlie Brown Christmas.) According to the angels, the news that will bring great joy for all people is this: the long-awaited Savior has come.
The Christmas season is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. We don’t celebrate any other birthday in the same fashion because no matter how much George Washington did for our country, and no matter how much you love your great-aunt, (or your mom or your kids), NO birthday is as joyous as the birth of Jesus. Because no birthday means as much as the birth of Jesus.
The birth of Jesus means God kept his promise. The birth of Jesus means that God loves us more extravagantly than we can imagine. The birth of Jesus means that God understands what we’re going through as bumped and bruised human beings, because He went through it, too. The birth of Jesus means that we have a perfect picture, an example of what our lives should look like.
But more than any of those, the birth of Jesus means that there is a way for us to be whole again. New and clean again. (Whew, goosebumps.) Back in right relationship with God, that we might know Him and enjoy Him forever.
As you reflect on the birth of Christ this year, move past the fact that He came and on to why He came. He came to die, that we might be saved. He came to live a perfect, sinless life, so that he could be an acceptable sacrifice for all mankind.
Psalm 51:12 says, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation…” If you are having a difficult time finding something to rejoice in this season, if there is a financial hardship that seems impossible, an illness that overshadows your days, a relationship that is causing you pain, there’s no shame in asking God to give you something to rejoice in.
Make this verse your prayer today, like David did! Restore to me the joy of Your salvation! Remind me, O God, of what I was when You found me; remind me of the joy I felt when I understood Your love for the first time! When I understood that You saved me from the penalty of my sins!
I pray that as you read these verses today you would rejoice in the good news that Jesus, the Messiah has come. That God would restore to you the joy of His salvation, and that you will be able to experience in a fresh way the joy that the angels sang about. Perhaps for the first time in far too long.
God rest ye merry, gentlemen Let nothing you dismay Remember, Christ, our Saviour Was born on Christmas day To save us all from Satan's power When we were gone astray O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy O tidings of comfort and joy!
(Yes, it is the Mariah Carey version, because her Christmas album is one of my favorites. Be thankful I didn't choose the Glee one.)