Welcome to this Advent devotional. As we approach Christmas, we once again step into an exciting season where we celebrate the birth of Jesus. At Christmas we reflect afresh on the message of Jesus coming to earth, we celebrate with our loved ones and we take some time to rest before the beginning of a new year. This Christmas we will read through the Gospel stories of old, we will sing our favorite Christmas songs and we will gather with friends and family to give and receive gifts.
I wonder how you feel as you approach this Christmas season? It may be that you are excited to spend time with your loved ones. It may be that you are feeling spiritually worn out. Or it may be that you are just hoping to get through what can be quite an overwhelming season.
Christmas can be a time when we find ourselves simply going through the motions. The traditions can be too well-known and the stories can become too familiar. But the Christmas story is one which should impact us each year. It should remind us of the great gift of Jesus. It should light a fire in our heart and breathe life into our bones. The Christmas story is one that can bring true hope into our spiritual walk.
In this Advent devotional, we will reflect upon a passage from the Gospel of Luke. In this passage, an angel announces the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. It’s a passage that can bring hope to each of us and can help us to receive the Christmas story afresh this year.
The Good News Of Christmas
“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.” Luke 2:10-11
It is estimated that 117 billion people have ever lived over the course of human history. Yet, in these two short verses, we are introduced to the one person who has undeniably impacted the world more than any other that has ever lived. For the angel here announces the birth of Jesus, saying that He will be a “Savior” who is “Christ the Lord”. Luke reveals that this Savior is just a baby, but he declares that His arrival on earth is so radical that it will change the entire world that we live in.
I don’t know about you, but I often skim over these verses when I read through the Christmas story during the holiday season. They are verses that can become familiar and almost mundane. But the truth is that these verses contain the most dramatic declaration that anyone could have dreamed of: that God himself has come to earth to be reconciled with humanity.
For All People
The Bible contains all kinds of accounts of divine appearances. In the Old Testament, God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. He appeared to Joshua in a pillar of cloud and He appeared to the people of Israel in fire. Yet the angel here announces that this time God has arrived as a baby. Jesus has, as the Message version of the Bible paraphrases John 1:14, “moved into the neighborhood”, in the form of the most innocent and vulnerable being. He has arrived on earth as a baby, to demonstrate that His mission on earth is not to bring judgment but to impart grace and mercy.
This passage also reveals that the arrival of Jesus is good news “for all people”. This is the most shocking part of the angel’s message – that all people are offered the gift of grace that Jesus brings. You do not have to be of a certain age, from a certain country, have a certain level of education or obtain a certain level of intelligence. This good news is for everyone! The invitation to reconciliation with God has been extended to all: that whosoever believes in Christ will have eternal life.
Jesus, Our Prince Of Peace
The good news that the angel prophesied is good news for you today. It is good news that promises you a relationship with God. And it is good news that promises an eternal peace that you can receive and hold onto this Christmas. For Jesus is our “Prince of Peace”. He is the one who brings calm to our raging seas and restoration to our troubled hearts.
As we read in Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Because we ran away from God, He came near to us. Because we fell short of His glory, He came to sacrifice His own Son. And because we went our own way, He came to bring everlasting peace. The Christmas message at its core is that we have peace with God. This is the greatest Christmas gift we could ever receive.
An Advent Devotional Of Good News
This Christmas, within the busyness of the season and the joy of the festivities, may we once again ponder the miracle of Jesus coming to earth. May we know Jesus as our true Savior, and may we trust Him more deeply as our rescuer. May we all encounter Jesus afresh and receive a new revelation of who He is.
The great message of Christmas is that Jesus came to earth as the Prince of Peace. He is the one who brings peace to our lives. He is the One who promises us an eternity free of all sin, sickness and pain. And He is the one who reminds you today of His great, unrelenting, undeserved love for you.
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