J – Joy —> “Joy to the world the Lord has come…” Joy is a common buzzword for Christmas. And, why not? Shouldn’t the lights, the glitter, the parties, the fun, and the presents be enjoyed? Absolutely, but what happens when the month of December is over? Is joy a temporary feeling that pops out when we haul boxes from the attic and then gets neatly stored away until next year?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have joy last longer than those pesky New Year’s resolutions? To be able to rise above your circumstances, be thankful, and rejoice in what is happening around you? True joy comes to stay when it is linked to something greater than a day on the calendar or an event which passes quickly.
Isaiah said we should take joy, rejoice, because the Holy One of Israel is among us. The angel confirmed this when he talked to Joseph. “They shall call His name Immanuel.” God with us. Not a cosmic force that is disinterested in the world He created. Not a judge who waits for us to mess up so He can zap us. But, God with us, among us, concerned for us.
We don’t have joy at Christmas because of traditions and family togetherness. We find joy when we discover a baby born to be with us, to bear our burdens, our sins, to pay our debt. And finding true joy, is the greatest gift you could receive this Christmas.
Isaiah 12:6, Mt. 1:21-23, 1 Peter 1:8-9