SATURDAY, DECEMBER 23 - Christ, the Messiah, is honored.

Luke 2:8–20 (ESV) (8) And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. (9) And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. (10) 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. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (12) And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, (14) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (15) When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” (16) And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. (17) And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. (18) And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. (19) But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. (20) And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Luke 2:8-20 describes the response of the shepherds to the birth of Jesus. Let’s take notice of the words the announcing angel proclaimed in verse 10, “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.” Do you hear the hope in this statement? The angel brings “good news.” Of course, the good news is that the Savior of the world has been born who would soon die and rise from the dead so that people could be saved. Second, the angel says the coming of the Messiah would bring “great joy.” Great joy is found in experiencing great news. Finally, the good news that brings great joy is for “all people.” The word “all” means every person of every race on every continent. The good news that brings great joy is for all people.

The second idea that stands out is verse 13, Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven. It is fascinating that the armies of heaven are mentioned. You see, the good news that brings great joy would also bring great conflict. The enemies of God do not remain passive and have not given up the war. They continue to sow discord, rebellion, and hopelessness. Knowing this, the armies of heaven arrive and praise God. “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Verse 14. The good news that brings great joy to all people demands a response. You can continue in rebellion against God and remain in conflict with Him. Or you can yield to Christ and experience His hope and peace.

As you celebrate with family and friends and with your church family, let’s remember that the hope Christ offers cost Him his life. When we embrace Christ for salvation and each day surrender to Him, His hope and peace overflow into our lives. Don’t allow the enemy to rob that from you. Embrace Christ and the good news that brings great joy.