SERMON TITLE: “Good News of Great Joy”
SERMON TEXT: Luke 2:1-11
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: December 24, 2017, 10:00 a.m. at First UMC
I love Christmas music. Every December, I pull out my Christmas CDs and sing along while I’m baking cookies and wrapping gifts. If you were to quiz me on what year-round music is popular today, I’d probably bomb completely. But Christmas carols I know. And, even though I’m at every church service we have, I never get tired of singing the sacred music of this holy season. There’s just something so wonderful about songs like “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” and “Gloria in Excelsis Deo.” The feeling of “Joy to the World” is so uplifting.
And we need that joy, don’t we? Just like the people of long ago, we need the light and salvation that Christ brought into the world. Through the melodies and lyrics of Christmas carols, we rise above the cold darkness of winter. We beat back the dreariness of depression. We join voices with others in relationships of support and nurture. Like the host of angels in the heavens above the shepherds, we Christmas carolers light up the sky with praises to God and the proclamation of good news for the people of earth.
This morning I’d like us to think about the Christmas story and the joy that it proclaims. In what circumstances did the Christmas characters receive the message of good news of great joy? What did that joy mean for them? And how can that good news of great joy be for all the people even today?