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Good News of Great Joy


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the prevailing sense of anxiety that came with it, television actor John Krasinski asked a simple question: “Why has there never been a news show dedicated entirely to good news?” He decided to host an online video show simply titled, SGN or Some Good News focusing on inspirational and positive news stories. To his surprise, the simple, informal show received 71 million views! People were hungry for good news.

The shepherds in today’s reading were watching over sheep outside Bethlehem, perhaps tending to the flocks reserved for temple sacrifices. Little did they know that on that ordinary night God would choose them as the first people to receive the news of the Savior’s birth (v. 8).

The message was straightforward (vv. 9–14): The Messiah had been born! This was good news of great joy for everyone! The messenger was a single angel, followed by “a great company of the heavenly host” (v. 13) who burst forth in praise to the Lord. Literally, this phrase is “a multitude of the armies of heaven,” signaling that the invasion of Satan’s territory had begun!

After they recovered from their terror and awe in the presence of the glory of the Lord, the shepherds obediently went and found the child, lying in a manger (vv. 15–16). Then they did what we should all be doing—spread the word (vv. 17–18), praising God for all that had taken place (v. 20). Notice that while the good news is “for all the people,” that is, all nations, including Gentiles (v. 10), the peace announced by the angels is only for those “on whom his [God’s] favor rests” (v. 14). With whom is God pleased? With those who believe on the name of His Son.

>> Merry Christmas to you and your family from all of us at Today in the Word. As you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, know that we are rejoicing in this special day with you.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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