“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:10-11 NKJV)
All people. The passages in Ezekiel and Isaiah hint at resurrection and light for all people. The angels made it clear: God’s message of redemption is for all people. It was for all people on the day Jesus was born; it’s still for all people. It doesn’t matter what their background may be. It doesn’t even matter if they say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” The message is clear: God loves all people and Jesus was sent to make salvation available to all. We’re called to respond to His offer of grace, but the offer is available to all people. The birth of Jesus, the Savior, is good tidings of great joy to all people.
Sometimes we who claim to follow get hung up on little things. We try to set up admission standards for people to be fit for the kingdom of God. We want people who aren’t Christians to conform to Christian beliefs and behaviors, or at least our understandings of what Christian behavior is like. (Believe me, I’ve seen a lot of people who I know are Christians live by standards that I consider shocking.) Which makes the point that ultimately, God is in control of the admission standards for redemption: and He tells us to trust in Him. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you’ve done, God wants you to experience the same message of good tidings and great joy He gave for all people that the shepherds experienced. Just trust in Him.
Lord, what great news for all people! I pray that all people would experience the good tidings of great joy You made available for all in Jesus.