December 23, 2010: Joy
Scripture: Luke 2:9-11 (KJV)
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
“Joy to the World!”, “Comfort and Joy”, “Love and joy come to you”, “O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant”. The carols and songs of Christmas speak of joy. But what is joy? Too many times I think we put joy and happiness into the same bucket and think they are one and the same. But happiness is based on circumstances and is fleeting; joy is in spite of the circumstances and lasts. You can be joyful in the midst of troubles. It is not turning a blind eye your problems but looking past your problems and seeing what is really there. It’s an attitude of gratitude that keeps us connected to joy.
Jesus came to be our Savior. The angels tell of good tidings of great joy. The first Christmas was not some beautiful Christmas card worthy scene but real life in the living and that what Jesus came to live in – real life, our life, with all of the pain and ugliness that we can bring to it. Yes, this is a season of joy but many find nothing but sadness – I am very much aware that in the Pierce Family’s joy for Dad’s new gift of life is a touch of the pain that another family is feeling in the loss of a loved one (and I hope that their joy can be found in the giving of this almost unspeakable gift!). In spite of the problems we have as individuals, families, and nations, we can find joy. We can find the One who came to bring us joy just as the shepherds and wise men did long ago.
What keeps you from being joyful? What causes you to see joy?
Father, let us hear again in our hearts the message of the angel of the Lord and let the good tidings warm our hearts this Christmas. In spite of what we see or even know, help us to find joy. In the name of Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Amen.