Good news of great joy!

"An 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 2:11

When the angel sent from God announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds of the field he said this in Luke 2:10, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.”   And the word here in the original language for great is mega. The same word that the lottery uses for their mega millions jackpot. The idea here is with Jesus birth there should be a lot of joy.


But many struggle to discover joy during this Christmas Season for a few reasons. One is feelings from past trauma. Christmas is often a time when a person is reminded of the the conflict and disappointments they experienced in the dysfunctional family they grew up in.


Another reason for a lack of joy this time of year is how our own life's struggle seem so amplified against the onslaught of media that projects a lot of happy people. Mind you that these happy people are paid actresses and actors to project happiness! Also this time of year with colder darker weather, some struggle with melancholy due to a physiological reasons.


But despite the human struggle with joy, God nonetheless invites us to discover joy just as this angel in Luke's gospel announced "good news of great joy for all peoples." How can we experience that joy? Several ways. One way is to meditate and remember that Christ’s birth was God coming to earth and becoming a man.  The angel understood this and it was a point of celebration, it was mega joy. Jesus Christ is Immanuel, God with us.


Another way we can celebrate mega joy is to remember that Jesus came to earth to rescue us from sin. When the great 18th century revivalist Isaac Watts wrote Joy to the World, he understood that, “Joy to the world…  repeat the sounding joy!”  Why?  Because “sin and sorrows” would no longer grow… far as the curse is found.” 


A final way to experience the mega-joy that the angels sang about is to remember that through Jesus our lives here and now can be radically changed and transformed. Through Jesus the power of sin and darkness can be broken in our lives.  Jesus put it this way in John 10:10, “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.”  And a few chapters later from Him in John 15:11, Jesus gave us this promise when we are willing to listen to Him and follow, “These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full!”


So as we prepare our hearts in celebration of Christmas let us remember Jesus, God who came to earth, to die on a cross that we may have salvation and the abundant life promised by God. When we do this, with the angels of heaven we can say this Christmas, "Good news of mega joy has been brought to us be for all people.”