Birth of Christ

Good News of God’s Great Joy

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Good News of God’s Great Joy

Christmas is a season of joy. Luke tells of the angelic outburst of praise when they announced the birth of the Christ (Luke 2:8-14). The shepherds who received the angels’ message rejoiced after they saw him with their own eyes (Luke 2:20). Even our hectic world pauses for a moment to praise him with carols celebrating his birth.

In the choir of praises that spans worlds, time, and cultures, there’s one voice that sings louder than angels and peoples. It is the voice of the Triune God. The prophet Isaiah reveals this to us. He anticipated a day when a King would be born to fulfill God’s promise that a descendant of David would rule from His throne forever (cf. 2 Samuel 7:12-16). The government will rest on his shoulders, and he will have a new name: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). His kingdom will forever be marked with justice and righteousness, peace and prosperity (Isaiah 9:7). How will these things be? Isaiah answers, “The zeal of the LORD of Armies will accomplish this.”

“Zeal” is an intense word. The Hebrew word can be translated as either “zeal” or “jealousy.” There is certainly a bad kind of zeal. This is when someone longs for something to be what it shouldn’t be, like jealousy for another person’s spouse. God’s zeal is different; he is intensely passionate for the world to be as it should be—right, just, and at peace. And it’s God’s zeal—his passion, his joy—to send his Son, to seat him on his throne, to bless him with an eternal kingdom. No one has more Christmas cheer than God!

We live in a dark world. The wickedness, injustice, and chaos of our world smother us like a thick blanket. We are constantly reminded of the violence, disorder, and hatred. And we are very much aware of our contribution to the mess, for sin still plagues our own hearts and lives. But in this dark world, the light of hope shines. The Sovereign has not abandoned us to despair. He has given us a King, and he will soon return. He is making all things new. He will bring shalom.

God will not allow the evils and disorder of our world to last forever. Through Christ, he is intensely determined to make his glory known far as the curse is found, and he will rid the cosmos of this curse once and for all through his Son.

So this Christmas, let’s join our great God in his joy. Let’s celebrate the coming of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Let’s long together for his soon return. And let’s announce to the nations that the Savior has come. Christ is the good news of God’s great joy.

This devotional excerpt was part of an Advent resource put together by SEBTS.
  • Birth of Christ
  • christmas
  • Hope
  • Justice
  • Ronjour Locke
Ronjour Locke

Director of the Center for Preaching and Pastoral Leadership

Ronjour Locke serves as the Director of the Center for Preaching & Pastoral Leadership and also an Instructor of Preaching and Urban Ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married to his wife, Annie, and they have four children.

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