Vol. 7, No. 49 – December 11, 2022 – Advent-2022

And in the same region, there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” –Luke 2:8-14

This is a song of great joy. It is a birth announcement. Mothers and Fathers are excited to announce the births of their children. They go to great lengths today. They have “gender reveal” parties. Baby showers (one by friends, another by the mother’s mother, and still another by the husband’s mother). It is a big deal.

Mary did not have much to spend on a party. She was dependent upon the Lord. After all, this was all His doing (in the person of the Holy Spirit). So, what do you do about announcements? God takes care of it there with a great company. I understand that to be a huge number. Who was the great company? Angels sent by God. Singing praise of God. Was this an antiphonal angelic choir? We are not told. I am of the opinion that it was a singing angelic choir.

It does not really matter; it was of sufficient strength that no one close missed the announcement.

The angel told the shepherds who it was that Mary carried in her womb. Now, their singing announces the baby is born, wrapped in cloths, and laid in a manger. What joy they project.

This is the Messiah. This is the Lord. This is the Savior. The angels cannot hold back from their announcement. The names stagger the minds of the Jews. They have looked for a Messiah for hundreds of years.

He is the great good news, which will cause joy for all the people. Joy. Not happiness. Happiness is related to the root word, happening. Happenings are generally short-lived. It may be an hour. A day. A week. A season. But it is an event, a happening. Joy is different. Joy relates to the character of God. It is who God is. He wants us to have His joy. Joy is intended to be durable, for the long haul. With God, it means for eternity. Joy is a great gift of God to us.

Jesus brings joy. He can bring this because He is God. True. Wrap your head around that. The God who created you and gave you life; that great God came to earth in the person of Jesus. Personally. Near. He stepped down in order that we might have the opportunity to rise to live with Him in eternity. That God! How can we not be filled with joy?

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. –John 1:1-5

Sing we the song of Immanuel
This the Christ who was long foretold
Low in the shadows of Bethlehem
Promise of dawn now our eyes behold

God Most High in a manger lay
Lift your voices and now proclaim
Great and glorious, Love has come to us
Join now with the host of heaven

Come we who welcome Immanuel
King who came with no crown or throne
Helpless He lay the Invincible
Maker of Mary, now Mary’s son

O what wisdom to save us all
Shepherds, sages before Him fall
Grace and majesty, what humility
Come on bended knee, adore Him

Go spread the news of Immanuel
Joy and peace for the weary heart
Lift up your heads for your King has come
Sing for the light overwhelms the dark

Glory shining for all to see
Hope alive let the gospel reign
God has made a way
He will have the praise
Tell the world His name is Jesus

Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God in the highest
Tell the world
O tell the world

—Matt Boswell

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