But the angel said to them, “do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10)

When we say or hear the words, “Merry or happy Christmas” it is mostly said in kindness that wishes the hearer, happiness and enjoyment over this festive season. But that is where the “great joy” of the true Christmas story goes astray.

Joy or merriment, focused on festivity or ‘happy holidays’ is merely temporary and can also be interrupted by any number of life’s nasties!

In other words, the “joy” spoken of in our text is not fleeting; it is “great joy” which has eternal value, being rooted in the eternal person of Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

This is why Jesus Christ’s birth is ‘good news” because it is only in and through Him can any person be saved and delivered from the bondage and eternal judgment for our sin. It is through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ which includes His birth, life, death and resurrection on our behalf, can we know true salvation and then live in the eternal the joy of that. 

Philip Hughes once wrote: No sorrow, no disappointment, however severe, could ever interrupt, let alone extinguish, the joy of [our] salvation with its vision of unclouded glory to come, for this joy [is] founded upon the sovereign supremacy of God, who overrules all things and causes them to work together for good to those He has called. [Grace quotes]

Hence, the believer has in Christ, “joy” beyond anything the world has to offer. That is why God tells us to respond with: “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11). 

May we know, feel and express the “great joy” we have received through knowing personally, Jesus Christ our Saviour now and forever!