Good News... Great Joy... All People!

Good News... Great Joy... All People!

Thursday, 5 February 2015  | Narelle - MECS Principal
I love a good ‘one-liner’ – perhaps something witty like;

If first you don’t succeed, don’t try sky-diving, or

Work is for people who don’t know how to fish, or

Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let him sleep!

Then there is the amusing bumper sticker – Honk if you like peace and quiet!

Or the pearls of wisdom from famous people, ‘Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.’ (Thomas Edison)

Of all the words spoken across human history, some stand out and are etched in our collective memories. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong, July 20, 1969 (Moon landing) or “Well may we say ‘God save the Queen’, because nothing will save the Governor General.” – Gough Whitlam, November 11, 1975 (Dismissal by Governor General John Kerr).

Even images evoke one-liners. As soon as we see a picture of the ‘Terminator’, we all chorus, “I’ll be back!” or Forest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get.”

There are about 31,000 verses in the Bible, and again, some of them are lines deeply rooted in our minds.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) and “… those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
However, one of the great ‘one-liners’ of the Bible that summarises what the whole biblical story is about is found in the familiar Christmas story recorded in Luke 2. You may have even read it over the Christmas break!

While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for the baby to be born. And Mary gave birth to a son, wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. There were shepherds in the nearby fields, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of God shown around them, and they were terrified. ‘Fear not,’ said the angel. ‘I bring you good news of great joy that will extend to all people. Today a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. You will find him wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Good news of great joy for all people!

Good News
People are hungry for a word that is true; people are hungry for a word that brings hope; people are hungry for a word they can build their lives on.  We have it!  “A Saviour has been born. He is Christ the Lord!” Indeed the central features of the gospel story – Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection – is indeed good news for a world that seems hopeless and without foundation.

Great Joy
Joy is not a fleeting emotion that comes and goes. It’s not dependent on circumstances going our way, but rather a settled assurance that God is in control of our lives, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright. Believing in the good news, the gospel of Christ is the ultimate source of joy.

All People
God communicated through the angels that the birth of Jesus was the best thing that ever happened and it would be for all people.  Jesus would be the Saviour for all people. He would be the Messiah over death for all people. He would be the Lord over life for all people. Sometimes we live like people who want to keep the good news of great joy to ourselves! Instead, the call of God’s Word is that this message is for all people – for each student, family and staff member in our community. Every day you encounter people in your world. At the petrol station, the coffee shop, your workplace, your neighbourhood. Most of them don’t know God’s heart for them. The good news of great joy is for them!

In 2015, as we gather around the vision of seeking God’s Kingdom in education, let us be a community where this ‘one-liner’ is at the heart of all that we do. Let us be people who embrace the good news of the gospel. May it bring great joy into our lives and may we share this with all people.

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