Christmas Light: #3 Good Tidings of Great Joy

Image from the Nativity

Image from the Nativity

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11 KJV

“Tidings is an old-fashioned word for recent news. If someone says ‘I bring you good tidings!’ it means they have information to share that you'll probably like. Even though this word appears to be related to tide, tidings are actually thought to come from the Old English word tidan, which means ‘to happen.’" (Vocabulary. com). The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines joy as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.

Joy is defined in the Bible as being associated with: strength (Neh 8:10), weeping ( Ezra 3:13), favor with God (Job 33:26), God’s presence (Ps 16:11), sowing and reaping (Ps 126:5), remembering (Ps. 137:6), pleasure (Eccl. 2:10), rewards of working (Eccl. 9:7), meekness (Is 29:19), gladness (Is. 35:10), singing (Is 51:11), receiving the WORD (Matt.13:20), finding treasure-WORD (Matt. 13:44), over 1 sinner (Luke 5:7,10), answered prayer (John 16:24), trials (James 1:2), unity (Phil.2:2), partakers in suffering with Christ (I Pet. 1:8), and the preserving power of God (Jude 24).

Joy is a state of mind, and something or someone has to evoke the mind to this state. If the Bible associates all those instances with joy, there can only be one thing in God’s Word that could possibly bring the mind to this state - His Word, His TRUTH. In Psalm 138:2, David stated, “…for Thou [Yahweh God] hast magnified thy word above thy name.” God’s Word, His TRUTH carries great weight, worth, power. Thus joy, as I see it is highly associated with knowledge (what we know to be true about God). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). God desire for us, is to live by His Word – TRUTH. His “TRUTH shall make you free”(John 8:31). This truth frees you to be “you”- the you, you were purposed and destined by Him to be, and this freedom brings exhilarating JOY. This truth is life changing - no more going through the motions. The success in life is found in connecting to the one who made you and knows all about you. Your value comes from Him, the Master Creator. Our weaknesses, shortcomings, misfortunes, and all the troubles we experience in this life are not meant to pull us away from Him, but to draw us closer to Him.

I bring you good tiding - “information to share that you'll probably like.” This news first came to the shepherds. During the time of the Bible, shepherds were normally seen as having little or no value - “nobodies.” They were looked upon as unclean, lawless, and dishonest having no class. God purposely made it clear that He was coming for everyone and that no one will be excluded - this joy shall be for ALL people (Luke 2:10). These shepherds, viewed in the eyes of others as “nobodies” saw and experienced a visible manifestation of the Glory of God. “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them...And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace… (Luke 2:9). This experience was so exciting that they said amongst themselves, “...Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us”(Luke 2:15). The experience was their guide to Jesus.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” This good tiding (good news) was delivered over 2000 years ago, but it is still the best news you will encounter. This news transcends race, class, color or creed. God so loved the world [everybody]…(John 3:16). It was months later when the wise men visited Jesus, but their experience was as great as the shepherds. God miraculously used a star to guide them to Jesus. God is ever searching the earth, looking for hearts that will allow Him to come in. He is ever using everyday things, people, places, and life experiences to guide us to Him. Don’t miss your visitation, and don’t miss your star! The road you are on is leading you to Him. Experience His TRUTH and His Joy for you today!!!


Tonda Loyd Henry