The announcement of the arrival of the Savior in Luke 2 is very familiar, almost rote, for those of us who have been Christians a long time. Let’s try to read it with fresh eyes.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you…
bad news of sad problems about lost people.”
No wait, that’s not what he said at all. The gospel begins with “I bring you good news of great joy!”
When we talk about communicating God’s provision of salvation in Japan, believers often focus on:
- how much work still needs to be done
- intimidating societal problems, unmet relational needs
- To Do lists, responsibilities, barriers, and burdens
It’s no wonder we believers sometimes feel lost when it comes to sharing the gospel and starting new churches. The task is so big, it’s hard to know where to start. The need is so great, that, though we exert our best human effort, we can end up exhausted and overwhelmed.
But our mission in Christ doesn’t start with need, it starts with victory. It doesn’t start with burdens, it starts with joy. Christ has a kingdom that cannot be shaken. P.T. Forsythe, Scottish theologian, described it this way: “We betray the sense that what is yet to be done is greater than what Christ has already done. The world’s greatest need is less than Christ’s great victory.”
Good news of great joy is at the heart of our faith:
- God is good
- God loves people
- God is with us
- God is powerful
- God is faithful
- God made a way through Christ’s great victory
Christ’s great victory is indeed good news for Japan. Let us go forth and share it joyfully!
By Audrey Eusey
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray that the good news of Christmas will not be lost in the busyness of the season for believers in Japan.
- Pray that the Japanese church and missionaries in Japan will not be overwhelmed by how much is yet to be done.
- Praise God for the victory he’s already achieved through Christ.