“Good News of Great Joy!”
O Glorious Day! In today’s Gospel we hear the story of the birth of Jesus that took place 2,020 years ago outside the little town of Bethlehem. An Angel of the Lord appears to Shepherds in the field and tells them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.” (Luke 2:11). The Angel brought good news that was not just for the people living then but also for all of us today. The great feast of Christmas is a time for celebration and a time for salvation for you and for me. A Saviour has been born for us, Jesus Christ our Lord!
The good news of Christmas is worth celebrating for three reasons. God loves us, God is with us and God is for us. The entire reason for Christmas is the love of God. “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
God loves us so much that he came to earth as a human so that we could understand what He is really like and to provide us a model of how we are to live our lives based on love. To will the good of the other and to take action to make it so. Just like He has done for us.
During this global pandemic and lockdown, it is easy to lose sight of the many good things that God has done for us. Christmas is a time to celebrate and a time to pause and review God’s grace in our life and to recommit ourselves to knowing him and loving him better in the New Year.
Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life, observed that another word for salvation is “freedom”. Our freedom is exactly what the Angel of the Lord proclaimed that night so long ago. We would be free of our sins, free from guilt over the past and free from the fear of death. Jesus would not stay a baby. He would grow to manhood, teach us the truth, and pay for all our sins by dying on a cross. He would then prove that he was God by defeating death, sin, and the devil by rising form the dead on the third day. This is the Good News that Angel proclaimed to the shepherds and this is the cause for our celebration on this glorious day. Our salvation and our freedom have arrived!
When the gifts are all given and opened, in the peace of that moment, remember there is one more gift given that first Christmas, and every day of every year since. “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” (! John 5:11) This is God’s gift to you and to me.
Merry Christmas folks and best wishes for a safe and joyous day! Father Gerard