Listen to today’s devo!

Do not be afraid. I bring you good news. (Luke 2:10)

Third-shift shepherding was not a highly productive or stimulating job. The biggest function was that of a flock security guard, to keep the sheep from being attacked. A successful night on the job meant that nothing eventful happened. If there was any news, it was most likely bad news, like “we lost two lambs last night.” For them, no news was good news.

Imagine their shock when the shepherds received visitors who came to bring good news. Under cover of darkness, the most likely human visitor would be a thief, but here, in the dead of night, angels came shining light and giving hope. The world was not about to lose a lamb that evening; it was going to gain one.

One of my favorite Christmas carols is “Joy to the World.” It declares the royal arrival of a King and celebrates the joyous birth of an infant. We have all suffered loss and death, and we have all had long and cold nights to endure. Sometimes we want to simply fall asleep and forget our problems, but here, the angels disturbed the quiet to announce peace. The night no longer has permission to terrorize the flock. The lamb who takes away the sins of the world has come. Neither thief nor villain can snatch away the joy that he gives. “Joy to the world, the Lord has come.”

Take time to sing all the verses of “Joy to the World.”

Jarod Osborne is lead pastor of Pathway [Wesleyan] Church, in Warsaw, Indiana. He is the author of “Jaded Faith” (WPH).

© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.