Shortly after the birth of Jesus, angels appeared to shepherds, who were keeping watch over their flocks on the hills outside of Bethlehem. Here's what one of the angels said: "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good new of great joy that will be for all the people." (Luke 2:10) Though times have changed, the same greeting spoken by the angel two thousand years ago still rings true today!
This good news that God delivered to the shepherds is the same good news the Gospel delivers to us today. The Gospel literally means "Good News!" God has moved through Christ to save us from the punishment of sin and has given us a path to a restored relationship with Him that we can experience for all of eternity. Death no longer holds victory over those who have received Christ! This is good news indeed!
This good new brings great joy to a lost people, who have been found by their Savior. Just as the shepherds, we also suffer under the brokenness of this world. Things just aren't as they should be. There is coming a day, when God will right every wrong and restore all creation to it's grandeur. In fact, He's already begun the restoration process in the lives of those who have received Christ by faith. In receiving God's free gift of salvation through faith in Christ's death and resurrection, a person steps into a restored relationship with Christ where he or she can begin to experience an abundantly good life. This abundantly good life isn't defined by riches, possession and relationships, but is instead an opportunity to know God more deeply and to experience His love more completely. This gift of God's presence comes only through faith in God's Son, Jesus Christ.
This good news of great joy is made available to all people. God extends His invitation to know Him more deeply to all people. One only needs to believe. God's love isn't restricted to the wealthy, the well connected or the powerful. God offers his love to all who receive Him by faith.
As we enter the advent season, take a moment to reflect on this good news of great joy for all people. Christmas isn't about gifts and family (though these are certainly important elements of our celebration). Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, Jesus. Without Christ, there would be no reason for joy. We'd be hopelessly lost in our sins. Jesus stepped into our brokenness and became the way of our salvation. Take time to seek Him this advent season.