Summary: It is our job to make sure the people in our lives see an authentic person of faith who can explain why Jesus is important and how He can save them from the consequences of sin. Let us be the messengers of “Good News of Great Joy!”
1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY
INTRODUCTION VIDEO… https://youtu.be/7-NOZU2iPA8 (2:48)
It is my hope that after watching the previous song that you have laughed so hard that your stomach hurts. Believe it or not, the song does have some high points in it. The first being the tremendous musical talent and snazzy style the band has… I am indeed impressed. The second being that the song does, in a humorous way, share the “Good News of Great Joy” that we are going to begin talking about today.
He taught me how to live, my life as it should be, He taught me how to turn my cheek when people laugh at me, I’ve had friends before, and I can tell you that, He’s the one who will never leave you flat.
This part of the song rightly reflects for us that part of the Good News of Jesus Christ is that He shows us the right way of living. We do not have to wonder how to be, how to act, how to react… but rather Jesus has taught us a narrow path of living which enables us to love others. This verse also rightly reflects for us that Jesus Christ is ever present for us as our Guide and Companion. Jesus does not leave us. Both of these Truths are part of the “Good News of Great Joy” that we are talking about today.
He loves me when I’m right, He loves me when I’m wrong, He loves me when I’m wrong, He loves me when I waste my time writing silly songs. He loves me when I’m quiet and I have nothing to say, He’ll love me when I’m perfect if I ever get that way. Whooo!
This part of the song also rightly reflects for us the boundless love that God has for us through Jesus Christ. You and I cannot be separated from the love of God. The love of God is unconditional, boundless, grace-filled, forgiving, and consistent. The love of God is part of the “Good News of Great Joy” that we are talking about today.
As we think about “Good News of Great Joy,” I have three questions:
Question 1: How was it communicated?
Question 2: What is it?
Question 3: What does it have to do with us?
To answer these questions, we need to dig into Luke 2:8-14 which describes for us all of the answers to those three questions.
READ LUKE 2:8-14
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "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 Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
I. HOW WAS IT COMMUNICATED? (VERSES 8-9)
In verses 8-9 of our passage, we get a clear picture HOW the “Good News of Great Joy” came into the world. We find first that the “Good News of Great Joy” was first given to very simple people. Shepherds were in the fields making their living and working hard. Shepherds had the constant job of leading their flocks to fields where they could graze and leading them to running water or to wells where they could drink. Shepherds had the constant job of keeping the wandering sheep together. At night, the time of this particular passage, was no time off for the shepherd. It was at night that predators would stalk the sheep and also the most likely time for thieves to also prowl around and try to steal sheep. It was to these simple hard working people that the “Good News of Great Joy” was first communicated.
We also find that the message was not an ordinary message because the messengers themselves were extraordinary and a tad heavenly. The messengers of the “Good News of Great Joy” were angels. Angels are the created beings in Heaven that do as God commands (Genesis 2:1, Psalm 104:4, Colossians 1:16). Some of them have the job of constantly praising God (Hebrews 1:6, Revelation 4:8). Some of them fight in spiritual battles (Revelation 12:7). Some of them sing praises (Job 38:7, Luke 2). Some of them are messengers (Job 1:6, Luke 1). We find one angel in this passage that is tasked with approaching the shepherds and giving them the initial message. After the initial message and instructions, other angels joined and a chorus of angels sang out the message in the dark night sky.