“… but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.” Luke 2:10

Christmas can be a very emotional time of year. The season stirs up fond memories of days gone by for some, and dredges up old wounds and guilt from the past for others. For everyone who has a house full on Christmas day, many are alone. Despair and loneliness lurk at the door of many hearts during December.

Jesus’ birth was announced by angels, and promised something very special: Joy! And,  it’s for all people. No qualifiers here! There is no red tape and no fine print – just a simple, straightforward promise.

The first ones to receive that joy show that you don’t need a perfect life to partake. Shepherds who worked out in the elements at all hours taking care of animals; an old man named Simeon who was waiting on God’s promise so he could die; a woman who had been widowed for most of her life. All let the good news into their hearts and all were overcome with joy.

Did they have bad days after that? Sure. But the joy that God promised isn’t reliant on our circumstances. It isn’t tied to a location like a house of worship. It isn’t contingent upon how much money is in our bank account. There will be people living in Third World countries who will have more joy in their hearts tonight than some billionaires because of one name: Jesus.

May the joy He brings flood your heart this holiday season and overflow into the rest of your days!