“Good News of great joy for all people.” An angel showed up and reduced the shepherds to abject terror when he appeared to them and spoke this message. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah (Christ), the Lord.” Luke 2:11. Of course the first words the angel said were, “Do not be afraid,” because being terrified is a natural response to being approached by such a powerful Heavenly being! God sent His mighty angel and His warrior armies to bring Good News and sing a spine-tingling chorus of Hallelujahs to the lowliest of the low that first Christmas.
We’ve heard this Christmas message so often. May I insert us into this setting? This morning I pray we would experience the angel as did the shepherds; wherever you are sitting, whatever you are stressing over, however anxious or disappointed you may be feeing at this moment – this powerful Angel messenger has come to YOU and speaks to you in your fear. DO NOT BE AFRAID. His news is GOOD NEWS. It is for YOU – this Savior has been born to YOU. He is for you, he loves you, he is a gift given to you from Almightly God Himself.
Good News of Great Joy
Regardless of the disappointments, painful losses, and mindbending circumstances ALL of us have endured this past year, the Christmas story tells us that God is with us – Immanuel. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23
So Do not be afraid.
Christmas looks very different this year. Our plans changed at every turn. Annual traditions took a leave of absence for 2020, parties and get togethers were replaced with ZOOM. And singing ~ well, heavenly choirs singing “The Hallelujah Chorus” from years past were enjoyed online as I sang from my car.
Even so, Lord Jesus, we celebrate Your presence with us this Christmas. We need You and are grateful You make Your presence known to us. In spite of our fears, our disappointments, and yes our confusion, we ask for the JOY of Your great love to fill us this week as we love on those around us: our neighbors, co-workers, family and friends – even if it is remotely!
Praying you will seek the gifts of the King of Kings this Christmas: among them being love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, joy, peace and the very presence of God Himself.
This is That Time of the Year and we are all having a bit of a problem believing it. The calendar, the ads, the decorations everywhere you look all remind us Christmas is Coming! But I have to admit I’m having a bit of a problem getting in the mood. This year has been so unimaginable that Christmas doesn’t seem real. But we made the effort and put up our Christmas decorations last weekend. My husband and I got busy making Christmas visible on the exterior as well as the interior of our home in hopes that we might catch some holiday spirit. 🎄
As I’m sitting here trying to feel anything remotely like childlike Christmas spirit, I began to notice a common thread in our decorations – twinkling bright lights: lights on our tree, our mantle, our roof – everywhere it seems. And these lights bring us joy. The usual look of our home has taken on a happy, colorful sparkling warmth markedly more cheerful than at other times of the year. We love our home, but at Christmas time it takes on a holiday glow.
In the very beginning, Genesis 1:3, God said, “Let there be light.” Jesus said, “I am the Light of the World” in John‘s gospel; chapter 8:12. Light is God’s gift to us – it dispels darkness, reveals color, brings warmth, clarity, joy and reveals truth. Jesus told us he was the Light of the World – to light our way through the darkness of life and BE our Truth. The glow we see all around us this Christmas season is but a faint reflection of the great Light God’s love shines on those who seek Him.
So from wherever you sit as we begin this month of Christmas and Hanukkah, maybe you will view the lights all around you as a reminder of God’s great love. If your heart struggles, I pray you will look around and see in the bright lights that God sent His son to us not because we deserved it, but because He loves us. He proclaimed the Good News through a heavenly choir of angels to the shepherds in the fields and lit up the sky with a brilliant blazing Christmas star to guide the way.
I’m feeling a bit more Christmas spirit as I think on these things. We all need to be reminded to look up when our mind might be telling us not only to look away but to shut our eyes completely! Let’s keep our hope and trust in God and celebrate Christmas in whatever form it may appear in this crazy year of 2020. Bring it on, Lord Jesus!
One day only, choose from any of my over 250 paintings to create custom cards: singles, 10-pack, or 25-pack, and you can add a personalized greeting on the inside! Cards come with envelopes. You are also able to customize the size of the image and add a colored border, if you desire. I invite you to sit down, scroll through, and find just the right gift for someone special – maybe just for you!