Great Joy for All the People

From Pursuing the Christ by Jennifer Kennedy Dean

In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the
fields and keeping watch at night over their flock.
Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and
the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they
were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be
afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great
joy that will be for all the people: today a Savior, who
is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of
David. This will be the sign for you: you will find a
baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding
trough.”—Luke 2:8–12

The shepherds were not expecting a heavenly announcement
of Messiah’s birth that night as they kept watch
over their flock. It had never occurred to them that
they might be the recipients of the birth announcement
of the King of kings. They were not watching the sky
carefully, looking for a sign. They had not studied for
years, anticipating Your coming. But You came to them
anyway.

The wise men were just the opposite. They had been
watching for the sign of Your birth and their studies had
led them to anticipate it soon. They had been looking for
You and expecting You. And You came to them, also.
You can read a heart.

Whether a person is articulate and learned, or simple
and inarticulate, You can see the hearts that long
for Your appearing. You are not put off by either. What
comes from the lips matters little to You. What comes
from the heart is everything.

Joy can be born in any life at any time. All it takes is
a ready heart.

Jesus, thank You that Your requirements to receive
Your gift are uncomplicated. Thank You that neither the
sophistication of the wise men nor the simplicity of the
shepherds made any difference at all to You.
Your “good news of great joy” is “for all the
people.”

“I have spoken these things to you so that
My joy may be in you and your joy may be
complete.”—John 15:11

Jesus, ready my heart to receive the full gift of
Your joy.

About Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Author and speaker
This entry was posted in A Praying Life, Advent, Pursuing the Christ and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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