Good News of Great Joy
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:10-11
This announcement, made by an angel to the shepherds, is familiar to many of us. However, does it have any meaning for today? Moreover, what does it actually mean for Jesus to be born a Savior? If he is a Savior, what is the Salvation that he brings? In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth, we learn that “he (Jesus) will save his people from their sin” (Matthew 1:21). Therefore, the salvation he brought was deliverance from sin.
But why was this salvation from sin needed? It is needed because “we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and this sin will have each of us thrown into hell. For Revelation 21:8 tells us that “the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” Now that is not good news for any of us, for this message is that we will be thrown into the lake of fire.
There is, however, some good news for us. It is that “when the time had fully come, God sent his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law” (Galatians 4:4). God made redemption from sin in Jesus Christ, by making “him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (1 Corinthians 5:21).
The angel was right. Jesus birth is “good news of great joy”. And although this message was delivered to the shepherds over 2,000 years ago, it is still good news for us today.
The atonement found only in Jesus is still effective at cleansing from sin to those who will repent of their sin and call upon the Lord for forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
So, may there be joy this Christmas because of the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, for that is good news of great joy. And may all those redeemed by the blood of Christ say with the angels, “Glory to God in the Highest” (Luke 2:14)
Good roads come with a cost
I recently wrote to my county commissioner to ask for additional rock on two miles of Goldenrod road where I live. Much of Marion County needs similar attention.
To secure better roads, Marion County needs to:
Raise taxes to enable improvements.
Buy or lease additional equipment.
Hire personnel to operate the equipment.
Buy road surfacing material either rock or sand.
Have focused supervision on existing and additional maintenance of roads.
I accept that better roads will come at some cost.