Good News of Great Joy

by Matt Mylin on December 20, 2018

I crave variety. I can get bored with eating the same oatmeal for breakfast (even though I do), watching a movie more than once, or reading a book for the second time. Variety is the spice of life. But when it comes to Christmas, I don't mind that it’s basically the same gig every year -- decorate the tree, put up lights, bake the cookies, eat more than I should, which leads to trying to lose those extra pounds come January. Traditions abound. The process of buying and wrapping gifts while listening to Christmas music may feel like pressure to some, but I really don’t mind it -- especially since my wife does most of the shopping. These are just a few of my favorite things.

When all of that comes to an end, what I look forward to the most is revisiting the story of the birth of our Savior. But the familiarity that surrounds this story may cause us to forget its significance.

Jesus was born to a virgin mother named Mary. His father, Joseph, was a humble man and chose to obey God rather than protect his reputation. Joseph took Mary to his hometown of Bethlehem where he could not find a place to stay other than a stable. Jesus, the Son of God, was born, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Did God not prepare for the birth of his own Son? God's divine plan for the birth of Jesus reminds us that a Savior was born even in the midst of chaos and confusion.

Then the birth announcement came. I can imagine Joseph in Heaven talking to the other dads who are there.

“How did you announce the birth of your child?” he might ask. “Chocolate bars? An Instagram post? That’s nice.”

Then a smirk would come across his face and he would proudly announce, “Mary and I had a great company of the heavenly host of angels appear announcing our baby’s birth. No big deal.”

Luke 2:10-11 reports the account of the angel speaking to the shepherds, “'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.' And suddenly a heavenly host of angels appeared, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards all people.'”

A Savior has been born. Not just a Good Teacher. Not just a Helper and Healer. But a Savior -- because we need to be saved. We need to be saved from our sin and from ourselves. The birth of our Savior is the Good News that will bring great joy to all people. In the middle of the mundane traditions, the same songs, and an old, familiar story, may we never lose the wonder of a young, obedient mother, a courageous father, and the birth of a Savior for this weary world.

Tags: christmas, good news, inspiring, joy, reflective, story

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