Songs of Joy
Luke 2:8-20; The Desire of Ages, pp. 47, 48
Jesus gives me joy and hope.
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14).
It’s hard to keep good news to yourself. When something really good happens, you just have to tell everyone. “I got an A at school today!” “My team came in first!” No matter what it is, news can’t be kept secret—especially good news. A long time ago some angels shared some very good news. This is how it may have happened.
No one in Bethlehem took much notice of the poor couple who moved into the stable behind the inn. Bethlehem was crowded with people who had come to be counted. Soldiers and officials rushed to get ready for the census. No one was interested in a newborn baby.
It was different in heaven. The angels watched closely. When Jesus was born, they began to sing praises. They shouted their songs with joy.
Some shepherds sat on the hills overlooking Bethlehem. All was quiet. Their flocks of sheep and goats rested peacefully. The shepherds sat around a fire to keep warm. And they talked about their favorite subject, the promise of the Messiah. Yes, the Messiah! The one who would come and save them. Surely He must come soon.
Suddenly a blazing light filled the sky. The shepherds held their hands up to protect their eyes. Then a beautiful voice said, “Don’t be afraid. I have good news for everyone! Today in David’s town (another name for Bethlehem) a baby has been born. This baby is the Lord, the Promised One of Israel! You will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The shepherds gasped. Before they caught their breath, the sky was filled with angels. Joyful praises to God were sung: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”
Just as suddenly, the angels disappeared. The shepherds rubbed their eyes. Everything seemed so dark. As they looked at each other’s faces, they knew it was not a dream. They could still hear the angels’ song echoing off the nearby hills.
Joy and happiness bubbled up inside them. They said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
The shepherds hurried down the hillside and into the town.
Finally they reached the stable. When they looked inside, they saw donkeys, camels, a cow, and some chickens. Then they saw the baby lying in the manger. Mary and Joseph were nearby. Quietly the shepherds came in, knelt by the manger, and worshipped the baby. And Mary wondered about these things in her heart.
The angels were the first to share the good news of Jesus’ birth with others. God wants us to share that good news too. It is good news that everyone needs to hear, even though it happened long ago. Just as the angels praised God, we are also thankful for the greatest gift of all time, the birth of Jesus—the Son of God, the Promised One.
With whom will you share the good news today?