“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10

Traffic fills the streets. Tables heap with food. Carols play in the malls. December is packed with festivities, and for many of us, we can’t help but smile and dance a little jig. It’s good news that we are on holiday! It’s good news that the year is ending! It’s good news that another year is beginning! It’s good news that we are gathering with relatives! It’s good news that friends surround us! It’s good news that the air is colder! It’s good news! It’s good news!

I can imagine how it was when the angel appeared to the terrified shepherds. “I bring you good news…” he said. Imagine receiving good news while being flabbergasted by the sight of a talking angel! The heavenly being’s message of good news was the birth of the Messiah. That was the original good news of Christmas. It should still be good news now.

As we end the year in celebration, it is always good to remember how the good news of Jesus’ birth still plays a part in the good news of our lives. If we take a notebook and list down all the good news of the year—whether it be a good job, the coming of a child, a graduation, a marriage—we find that Jesus is still very much the reason for our joy. Isn’t it because of Him that the good job was possible? Isn’t it because of His creative power that a child formed in the womb? Isn’t it because of His strength that a high school diploma was achieved? Isn’t it because of His grace that a commitment was given to a spouse?

Just as the great heavenly host praised God during the night of Jesus’ birth by declaring: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests,” (Luke 2:14) we can herald the new year by glorifying God for the good things He has birthed in our lives and the good things He will “birth” in the coming year!

It’s good to be a herald of joy. Even if newspapers forecast a difficult year ahead, we need not be afraid. We have a Messiah who was born on earth through a virgin birth, lived a sinless life, died for our sins, resurrected from the dead, and WHO LIVES victoriously seated at the right hand of the Father. Because Jesus lives, we can be sure that GOOD NEWS will always be alive on this earth. Jesus is the original good news, and He hasn’t stopped creating good news in our lives.

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Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.