A Message of Joy
Category : General
St. Luke 2: 10 (KJV)
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
In our text we have before us the sermon of the first evangelist under the gospel dispensation. The preacher was an angel, and it was meet it should be so, for the grandest and last of all Evangelist will be proclaimed by an angel when he shall sound the trumpet of the resurrection, and the children of the regeneration shall rise into the fullness of their joy. The key-note of this angelic gospel is joy–“I bring unto you good tidings of great joy.” Nature fears in the presence of God–the shepherds were sore afraid. The law itself served to deepen this natural feeling of dismay; seeing men were sinful, and the law came into the world to reveal sin, its tendency was to make men fear and tremble under any and every Divine revelation. But the first word of the gospel ended all this, for the angelic evangelist said, “Fear not, behold I bring you good tidings.”
Here is the proclamation of the angel “I am not come to declare the judgments of the Lord, but his merciful loving-kindness, the subject being a matter of great joy.” He then declares his message. Unto you – to the Jews first, and then to the human race. Paul says, He took not upon him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, i.e. the nature of Abraham and his posterity, the human nature. Therefore, the good news is to you, – and not to yourselves exclusively, for it is to all people, to all the inhabitants of this land, and to the inhabitants of the whole earth.
This spiritual gladness and festivity is the principal assistance to vanquish Satan, and all desperate doubts with which he would perplex our conscience: it is a royal joy which comforts us that we shall be heirs of a glorious kingdom; it is a sanctified joy which gives us promise that we shall not only be kings but priests forever, to offer up the sweet odors of our prayers to God; it is a superlative joy which cries down all other petty delights, and makes them appear as nothing; it is endless joy of durance and lasting for ever and ever; for my text says it is “joy that shall be unto you.”
The whole thought and idea of all that is told us about Christmas Day suggests the consoling, the cheering thought, that however gloomy our lot, however distressed our portion, God, the Almighty God, has not forsaken us. There is the truth which the heathen, and we must also add, which Christians have often been very slow to acknowledge, that the Divine is only another word for the perfectly good, that God is goodness, and that goodness is God. The message of Christmas is one of Joy, joy in Jesus and not in worldly pursuit or materialism.
Have a great and God filled day!