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Good news of great joy

This year the big supermarkets are selling very few Christmas cards with Christian themes. The overwhelming majority of the cards they are selling have a “traditional” Christmas message. When asked why this had been done the reply was that this is what the majority of their customers want.

We are living in very difficult and anxious times for the whole world. The message of the birth of Jesus is just what we need. The baby who was born in Bethlehem is a beacon of light and hope in a dark world. God made sure that ordinary people, like the shepherds, knew that Jesus had been born. He sent an angel to announce the birth, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus is a great King and his was a royal birth, yet he did not come just for the rich and famous, but for ordinary people. The shepherds were working men and were spending a c old night on the Judean hills. They were not deeply religious men. Their conversation that night was, no doubt, about the things all men talk about when they get together. Then suddenly they were confronted with the glory of God, and were terrified. The angel spoke to calm their fears. He had good news for them which would bring joy to them and to all the people. A Saviour had been born, the Messiah had come!

As Christmas approaches you may have many fears and anxieties. You are thinking about all the things you have to do. You may be apprehensive about the coming year. How will you cope financially? Will you still have a job? What kind of world will your children and grandchildren grow up in?

The shepherds teach us something very important. After the angels had gone they said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” After they had seen the baby Jesus they returned to their fields “glorifying and praising God.” Jesus is the one we all need, whatever the supermarket chiefs think. He came from heaven to give great joy to people like you and me. So why don’t you find out more about him this Christmas? After all Christmas is all about him!

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