Joan was my older brother’s good friend way back at our home church. Now Joan had dated some of the guys from our youth group during her late teens thru her mid-20’s; but she never heard those words she so longed to hear, “Will you marry me?” She went on to date some other guys from other churches and from her workplace in her 30’s and even into her 40’s; but still, I don’t believe she ever saw even one guy get down on his knee before her. What she did see was the proverbial handwriting on the wall: she would be single till death do her part.
Whenever there’s an engagement announcement, the word spreads quickly; but never like it did when Joan announced her engagement – just last year at age 69! Now I can’t tell you which emotion won out among all her friends, me included: was it the euphoria or the shock? We were all blown away! but at the same time, we were beyond thrilled!
There was once another announcement that shocked its hearers, but for a wholly other reason: who made the announcement: an angel! I suspect most of you know the story well enough to remember what he announced on that momentous occasion: “Don’t be afraid, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Why not end the year well and come out this Sunday to hear the message entitled, “Great Reactions to the Good News?”