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.
Some of my favorite verses to read at Christmas are Luke 2:8-14. Jesus is our Hope – I have come to know Him as mine over the years – and He will bring peace at last, whether here or in the life to come. No more fear. No more pain. Just, no more.
To some, this may sound like escapist mentality. But in reality, the good news of Jesus and salvation are not here to merely provide an “escape” from the ills of this world, although in many seasons an escape may be necessary. He came to earth to walk with us and talk with us, and, thankfully, to experience life through our eyes. His humanity is why we can trust that He hears us and sees us and that He understands at every turn. His divinity is why we can trust that He will make a way of escape when it becomes necessary; and, when it is not, He will give us the strength we need to walk the hard road and to grow from it.
I need peace this season, especially with some of the things in the news these days. I bet you do too. So here’s a song for all of us, because sometimes you have to say it – or sing it – to see it. Let there be peace on earth.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
Love, true love, makes you brave. This is the thought that came to mind when I read these verses this morning. It made me think of David’s bravery as a shepherd, which we heard nothing of until he recounted his experiences to Saul while preparing to face Goliath. He said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Goodness! I have never faced a lion or a bear – but I can tell you that if I heard they were even within 10 miles of me, I would be long gone! Oh, I would definitely try to alert and possibly save my family too but oh brother! Continue reading A brave love
I love how the next verse (verse 18) says to “encourage one another with these words.” We have the hope of rising again to meet Jesus in the air because He came, He died, and He rose again! Think of it as your equivalent of the Latin phrase veni vidi vici (I came, I saw, I conquered); except, in this case, this was and still is a victory for the entire world – for you, for me! So, comfort and encourage one another, as it says in verse 18. We won!
Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
Every word Jesus spoke was true. The disciples did not understand it but it must have been a bittersweet realization when they eventually saw these words fulfilled right before their eyes. The waiting and the uncertainty after Jesus’ death must have felt unbearable, brutal even! But in the end, like He said, the joy they had was second to none. And so is our joy today, because we have Him and we know Him.
This passage reminds me of the first time I heard this song. In truth, Christ is our Hope. It’s not the end until He says it is. Remember that.
Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
Mary Magdalene was delivered from seven demons. Seven.
What are your demons? Bring them to Jesus, He’s got this!