I sat down recently and, with a couple cups of coffee, read through a little collection of Christmas sermons preached by Martin Luther. There were six sermons in all, preached between 1532 and 1534. And I had an objective: to pick out three choice quotes and then to put them here for you to read. Here's the first. Check back next week and the week after for the second and third.
"Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy..." (Luke 2:10).
If you wish to define Christ correctly and portray Him truly, who and what He is, then note carefully how the angel distinguishes and portrays Him, namely, that He is and is called, "Great Joy." I personally learned this the hard way under the papacy, for no one ever taught me anything else than that Christ was a stern Judge who would pass judgment on me according to my deserts and works. I was used to thinking at all times, therefore, how I might produce good works that I might reconcile Christ my Judge. In no way could this be termed "Great Joy," and "Unto you is born this day a Savior," but rather the preaching of hellfire. What was missing for me was that I could not name Christ rightly with the name the angel gave, "Great Joy," as He most surely also is: great, sweet, precious joy.