“I bring you good news of great joy”: these were the words of the angel to the shepherds on the first Christmas night. They are familiar words, and we know in our minds that Christmas is to be a time of joy, but I am not sure that we are really very good at rejoicing. We might be good at eating food, and at surface level happiness, but what about the deep joy that comes from knowing we are loved by God? Rejoicing at Christmas means to dwell on this.
The message of Jesus’ birth was good news of great joy, according to the angel, because he is a Saviour. If we don’t think we need a Saviour, then it will be difficult to rejoice in the Christmas news. But if we realise that humanity does need a Saviour, to save us from the penalty of sin and to set us in right standing with our Maker, then it is the best news ever! It is the “thrill of hope” in which “a weary world rejoices”, as the carol says.
True rejoicing takes some discipline. Dwell on the real good news of Christmas. Thank God for it. Tell someone else about it. Spread the joy!
- I was pleased to announce last week that our new Assistant Minister next year will be Andrew Goddard, who will be joining us in April after returning from ministering in Canada with his wife Erin and daughters Sophie and Zara.
- We hope to see you here this evening for Lessons and Carols, with the church full of candles.