“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10 (ESV)
“Joy to the World” is one of the most popular Christmas songs. It is a song that reminds us that Jesus is indeed the reason for the season. Jesus has come, and it is a time to receive and celebrate Him.
In Luke we read the account of Jesus’ birth and learn of the shepherds who were told the good news by an angel. On what most likely started as an ordinary night, the shepherds received extraordinary news–the Savior was born. As we celebrate this holiday season, we can learn a few key lessons from today’s verse.
Lessons from the Shepherds’ Encounter
Fear not – From all accounts, it appears angels must be daunting beings. Many angelic interactions in the Bible start with some variation of the phrase, “fear not.” The angel knew that in order for them to truly hear his message of hope, they had to first set aside fear. This Christmas season is like no other, and I believe that God still wants us to remember to “fear not.” To embrace the hope and promise of this season, we have to set aside our fears of uncertainty. We may be experiencing the unexpected, but nothing is a surprise to God. There is still hope in the midst of chaos.
Good news of great joy – We can all appreciate some good news, and the story of Jesus’ birth is still one of the best news stories of all time. A baby boy was born to a virgin mother and could be found lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes. This baby boy, the Savior, was the fulfillment of prophecy; a fulfillment of God’s promise. This was a truly joyous occasion and is still worthy of celebration today. This season, take time to celebrate Jesus!
For all people – The good news of Jesus’ birth was not just for a select few. The angel shared the news with the shepherds first, but it was a message for all people. Jesus is a Savior to everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, denomination or any other labels we define ourselves by. The good news of His birth and the great joy that comes with knowing Him is something that we all have access to and that we all can celebrate. It is a message of unity, a message of hope. We are one body in Christ, and that is the true meaning of Christmas. That is the good news that brings us so much joy!
What overwhelms you the most during the holiday season (e.g., shopping, cooking)? What can you do in those moments to shift your attention to Jesus? This time of year can be extremely hectic and stressful. Take a few moments to simply rejoice in the good news of Jesus.
Want to learn how to distinguish yourself in everyday life and fulfill your God-given mission? Books by S.A. Foster, Woman of Honorable Distinction: Lessons from Lydia and Go! God’s Call to Action, can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites. Click here for a free pdf “Live Distinctly through Authenticity: 7 Verses to Help You Embrace the Real You.”
For more encouragement from S.A. Foster visit www.honorabledistinction.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram (@live_distinctly).
Dr. S. A. Foster is an author, blogger and speaker. Her passion is helping women to live distinctly through authenticity by showcasing their strengths and staying true to their core identity and values. Her blog, Honorable Distinction, encourages women to distinguish themselves in their everyday lives by exemplifying their faith and integrity. You can connect with her on her website, www.honorabledistinction.com
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