Joy to the World?
When things are not as they should be, I wonder, "Where in the world is this joy so many talk about at Christmas?
Some friends I know are very sad. People all over our world suffer extreme pain. And for no apparent reason, I too sometimes feel despair.
The world was not at ease on the first Christmas. Life was brutally hard. Danger everywhere. And yet, the angel announces a profound basis for joy:
"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!"
The point of the announcement is that a Savior is born for all the people. Matthew records in his gospel that "Jesus" means "God saves"--a salvation that begins on the inside. Our souls are saved from the judgement of God against sin when we believe in Jesus--who paid the penalty for our sin by his death on the cross. All of this is the result of God's love for you and me.
It's as simple and complex as John 3:16.