12 words till Christmas · Joy

9 words till Christmas… joy…

Joy… definitely a Christmas word…
but sometimes… for some… it’s hard to find…

Crowds… traffic… awkward social obligations…
gifts to buy… stress to spend… high expectations…
missing loved ones… dealing with broken families…
can steal the joy right out of the season…

And I wonder… Why…?
Why do we let it happen…?
get focused on the wrong things…?
miss the meaning…?

Because… Christmas…
its heart…
its message…
brings great JOY…!

For the angels said to [the shepherds],
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people. …”
Luke 2:10 ESV
The shepherds experienced its joy firsthand…
the first Christmas… with its unexpected coming…
“Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened,
which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste
and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been
told them concerning the child. And all who heard it wondered
at what the shepherds told them. … And the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen,
as it had been told them.
Luke 2:15-18, 20 ESV
The shepherds’ joy burst forth in praise… and glory to God…!
not only that… they couldn’t keep it to themselves…
they told anyone who would listen…
and the ones who heard wondered at what they heard…
The wise men also had a dose of Christmas joy…
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother,
and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures,
they offered him gifts…
Matthew 2:10-11 ESV
Their joy too… expressed with praise and worship…
poured forth with gifts…
The good news of Christmas…
the news of great JOY…!
is for ALL people…
So why don’t all receive the Season with joy…?
Perhaps they’ve missed the point of the good news…
“…For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord. …”
Luke 2:11 ESV
A Savior has been born…
One who made the Way for all to be saved…
from sin and darkness…
bondage and fear…
dis-ease and death…
He came down… to make the Way… for JOY…
John Piper calls it… indestructible joy
but for many… Christmas joy seems fragile…
flighty… hard to keep hold of…
But remember… the heart of Christmas is JOY…
great JOY…!
so if it’s missing from your heart…
things seems stressed… out of sorts…
or just blue…
follow the way of the shepherds… and those wise ones…
go to Jesus…
see this thing that has happened…
have a face to face…
with your Savior…
“… As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept
my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have
spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. …”
John 15:9-11 ESV
If joy is absent… from your holiday activities…
stop… don’t do another…
till you’ve connected with the Reason for the season…
Father God… I am susceptible to allowing the joy of Christmas
to be stolen right out of my heart… set it right…
this great JOY… of good news…
Jesus has come in the flesh…
to save… Amen…

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