Summary: This sermon should help the listeners to understand the "Good News" and experience the "GREAT JOY" God offers to all people.
Good News, Great Joy for All People – by Larry La Douceur
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
I stand in awe of God and the perfection of His ways and thoughts.
The story of how the Messiah came into the world and how it was announced to the world is so far removed from the way I think it leaves me with total admiration of God.
But before we expand our thoughts about the ways of God immediately after His Son was born in Bethlehem, let’s turn to the book of Luke.
The Shepherds and the Angels
Luke 2:8 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 fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a 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.
 2:14 Some manuscripts peace, good will among men (ESV)
Luke spends no time building sympathy or expounding on the lack of accommodations for the baby and his family, instead the angel tells us of good news and great joy for mankind.
The Savior Has Arrived – Christ the Lord
The faithful Jews had long awaited the arrival of the Messiah. And now this night, the message of the arrival of the Savior is delivered to the Shepherd’s. The Angel of the Lord could have been sent to the Roman Government Leaders or the scribes and Pharisees (religious leaders), but instead the message is delivered to common working people and the response is immediate. As soon as the angels departed and returned to heaven, the Shepherd’s went quickly to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph and the baby who was lying in the manager. They had the good news and now they were experiencing the great joy.
Earlier that night I can only wonder about the great joy of the angels.
Angels that were in heaven with Jesus, and knew His relationship to the Father, they had first hand experience how awesome our God really is. But they had to wait for that exact moment to proclaim the good news about the baby Jesus. And yes I do believe angels experience joy,
Jesus tells us;
Luke 15:10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (NIV)
Take a moment to let that set in,
Angels rejoice every time a sinner repents and turns to Jesus.
Can you imagine the rejoicing that took place when they said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
How long had they waited to give God the praise He so richly deserved, and share with mankind (the shepherds) their proclamations?
It certainly has been a special day of joy;
Mary and Joseph experienced the great joy!
The angels certainly experienced great joy as they proclaimed Christ the Lord to the world and gave glory to God!
And the last we heard of the shepherds, they were glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
But what about you and me, how do we share in the joy and peace that Jesus brought to earth?
First, realize that without Jesus you could never experience the great joy and peace offered you this day. Man is sinful and unable to save himself.