Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his suffering ones. Isaiah 49:13
Christ Jesus became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30
A friend of mine is battling cancer. It is a vicious enemy, this disease. He told me something this morning that really struck a note in my heart: “When they don’t have good news they get vague.” He was speaking of the medical professionals whose job it is to bring healing arts to cancer patients and others. Apparently at this moment there isn’t much good news, because the docs are being pretty vague.
He also spoke of the tendency of his doctor to keep up his hopes. “Who knows? It might work!” That was the attitude of his oncologist. “They have to be that way, otherwise how could they go to work each day?” That was the conclusion of my friend.
God’s word is filled with specific promises, clear and consistent truth, powerful words of grace and life. He promises to hear us when we pray. He tells us that when Jesus rose from the dead, he conquered death for all people. He is direct and specific in his commands: Love the Lord your God. Love your neighbor.
That has implications for us when it comes to witnessing to others about God. We have good news to share. When a doctor comes in and says, “I have a 80% chance of saving your life,” he has just delivered good news. When he hems and haws about trying this or that (emphasis on trying), he has no good news to share.
If you are hemming and hawing about God – who he is, what his promises are, and how we are to know him – we are not delivering good news. But if we sing his praises with gusto, and proclaim his glory clearly we are giving witness to the Good News of God.
At Christmas time we have more opportunities than at any other time to deliver a clear message of good news. After all, the message of the angels to the shepherds in the field was, “Behold! I bring you good news of great joy that shall be for all people. For unto you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
How many songs and carols do you have that proclaim that good news, and not some vague hope for a fat elf to make his way down your chimney? How many gatherings can you attend where the true message of Christmas, a Savior who is Christ the Lord, has come. And he has saved us.
Shout it out! Sing praise to God. The wisdom from God, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption has come to us in the babe of Bethlehem. That’s not something we have to mumble about.