Joy For All

Meredith Palicte, Worship & Internationals Minister
Growing up, one of our family traditions on Christmas Eve was to sit on the floor of the living read through Luke’s account of the Christmas story. We’d turn out all of the lights except one candle, which shone through a globe with the town of Bethlehem painted on it.

My dad always focused on the passage about the shepherd’s encounter with the angel because it says so much about how the Gospel is for all people. To think that shepherds (lowly, dirty, young men) were the first to meet Jesus is incredible! All throughout Scripture we see examples of Jesus coming for everyone from the lowest in society to the highest.

When the angel appeared to the shepherds that night, they must have been so afraid and confused. “Why would this angel come to us?” they might have wondered. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Perhaps the angel first appeared to the shepherds to prove that this Messiah really was for all people. This was not dependent on their wealth or health or social status…it was simply because God created and loves each one of us.

The joy of the Lord isn’t something to be earned through anything we can do. Even when we feel unworthy- the joy of knowing Jesus is simply a gift to be accepted. As you pray today, thank God for the joy we all get to experience through knowing Him! Pray that God will bring to mind someone who does not yet know Jesus and look for opportunities to share that joy with them.