- Lorie Hedgepeth
"...Glad Tidings of Great Joy..."
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
The angel of the Lord came with glad tidings of great joy. Simply put, it means good news of great joy. Day-after-day the news media alerts us to the widespread vice and violence in this country and the latest Covid-19 casualties. The moral fiber of America continues to unravel as courts legalize same sex marriages. Suffice it to say, our world is in desperate need of Good News. May I tell you, the Good News is not what some have made it to be. The Good News is not that the Republicans outnumber the Democrats in the House. The Good News is not that pharmaceuticals have developed a vaccine to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus. The Good News is that the bad news is not the only news. There is a “Good News” that overshadows the bad news. The Good News that changes lives, mends broken hearts, heals broken homes and breaks the shackles of addiction is: “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away…behold, all things are new”. The Good News is: “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”. The Good News is: “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. It’s the message of God’s Church. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that distinguishes us from the Muslims and Mormons; it distinguishes us from the Rotary Club, Civitans and the Masons. What a privilege to proclaim the Gospel in a world that is in such desperate need right now.
What we have in Luke 2:10, is good news about the Good News: “which shall be to all people”. This message is not for a select audience. Aren’t you glad it’s for all people? It includes all and excludes none. “All people” includes those that some would exclude. “All people” includes those who, in the eyes of the church, may be unlovable, untouchable, undesirable, unteachable and unreachable. “All people” includes those from Calcutta to California, from Miami to Manila. It includes those In Malaysia and those in Mississippi. The angel’s message to the shepherds reminds us that the Church has a missional mandate: preach the Good News to all people in all places! It is the privileged responsibility of the church to make sure that every person in our community, city, county, country and around the world has an opportunity to hear the Gospel. No law or executive order can silence God’s Church from sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ!