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Engage with Grand Canyon University's (GCU) vibrant Spiritual Life community and take a deeper look at the various ministries that are happening around the world, in your backyard and on our campus. From weekly devotionals to Chapel highlights and features that reflect God's work in the hearts of our students, staff and faculty, each article is presented by GCU's Spiritual Life team and our special guests. We hope that God will challenge and encourage you through His words and the stories about His people that inspire us all.
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Weekly Devotional: Good News and Great Joy

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By Ally Richmond
Professional Writing Major, Honors College

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’” – Luke 2:10-11

In the book of Luke, the angels tell the shepherds that they have “good news” and that it will cause the shepherds to have “great joy.” So what is this news exactly and how should we be reacting to it?

As Christmas rolls around again, it is easy for us to dismiss the Christmas story because we have heard it so many times before. This year, try to take some time and really consider the story, what it shows about God and what it means for you.

The Good News

What is the good news that the angels were telling the shepherds about? The good news is that Jesus humbled himself, becoming a man so he could interact with us and eventually die for us, giving us the gift of an eternal life in communion with Him in heaven.

This is such good news! As Christians, we hear this all the time and it can lose its impact, but think about it. Jesus walked among us on earth, lived a blameless life and then died a horrible death on the cross because He loves us. God is always showing us how much He loves us, and this is the greatest example. It is incredible that this is how God chooses to show us His grace!

Our Reaction

When we hear this good news, what do we do? Do we say, “Yep! That’s pretty neat!” or do we really feel the weight of the sacrifice God made in sending His son, knowing full well the pain He would have to endure?

We should be rejoicing and thanking God for sending us His son who shows us how to live as He lived with us.

One man showed a rather appropriate response to seeing baby Jesus for the first time. Simeon, had been promised by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah, so when Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus to Jerusalem, Simeon cried out in Luke 2:30-32, “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

Simeon praised God at the sight of Jesus, calling Him the salvation for both the Gentiles and the Jews, a fairly new concept at the time. The Jews had been awaiting the coming Messiah for years, and God allowed Simeon to recognize that Jesus really was the one they had been waiting for who would bring them eternal salvation.

So this holiday season, when you hear the story of the first Christmas for the hundredth time, don’t overlook it. Think about how good this “good news” really is and praise God for the beautiful tale He’s written to bring us grace upon grace for eternity.

Grand Canyon University strives to give God the praise in all things. To learn more about GCU’s Christian identity and heritage, visit our website or request more information using the button at the top of the page.

About Allison Richmond
Professional Writing Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Allison Richmond is an Arizona native and a junior at Grand Canyon University. She is currently earning her Bachelor of Science in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing with a minor in marketing. She hopes to use her degree to pursue a career in journalism or advertising in order to share her ideas and creativity with the world. Allison has a passion for writing. She has gotten the opportunity to pursue this passion through writing for Odyssey Online, working on writing research with her professor and writing for the GCU blogs. When she is not writing, Allison enjoys reading, traveling, baking and spending time with her friends. 

Read more about Allison