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Terrified before Joy!

by | Dec 18, 2023 | Genuine Hope | 0 comments

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Luke 2:8-11

The stocking holders for our three grandsons feature pictures of each of the boys in various stages of panic while sitting on the lap of Santa Claus at the Cincinnati Zoo and two of them, Trace and Troy, are in a state of terror – stranger danger in real life!

When we see something unfamiliar we are often startled at least, right? One of the office I call on, move a nearly life-size Santa mannequin around the office as a prank this kind of year. Santa might show up around the corner or somewhere more unexpected. It’s not quite terror, but it has everyone on their toes.

And so when we read that the shepherds “were terrified” we shouldn’t be surprised. What your response might have been on the night when Christ was born? My guess is that each of us would have reacted in much the same way. Human beings in the Bible generally respond in the same way when encountering the presence of the LORD or one of His angels.

But the key message found in the verses above is one of Joy – real joy. The angel says it is “good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”

This is the joy of salvation anticipated by God’s word and delivered in the flesh by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ.


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