A Time For Joy
“When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.” Matthew 2:9-10
“Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” Luke 2:10
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11
Today you are either getting ready for Christmas, thinking about gifts for friends and family, decorating the house, shopping, planning trips, the holiday meals, or maybe you're occupied with other family traditions. As the month unfolds there will be church events, family gatherings, parties at work and with friends, wrapping presents, decorating the Christmas Tree and doing a host of things to celebrate the holidays.
All these things we get to enjoy especially as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, because that is why He came - to bring JOY to the world. He likes to celebrate with us and He enjoys our joy in Him and sharing it with others. That's as it should be with healthy families. And no need to apologize or feel guilty because there are those who do not share in your joy.
So resist those “grinches” this year and let the joy of the season be full, rich, and boundless among you and your loved ones.
Remember God takes no pleasure in us being miserable because someone else is miserable. Nobody gets blessed that way. Jesus didn't come to multiply the sadness in the world by bringing a joyless spirit of sorrow and mourning to those that were living in sorrow and mourning.
There is however a Godly response to those who don't participate in the joy of his season. It begins with compassion and love. God knew how sad and joyless the world was when He sent Jesus to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Darkness is a metaphor for sin. Jesus came as light to dispel the darkness of sin, sadness and death from all the world. Before He came the whole world was consumed with sin and death. The people groped in darkness seeking, hoping, praying for light to come and with it a restoration to joy and celebration that was once common to all mankind in the Garden of Eden before the Fall of man.
Certainly since those days there have been and continue to be in nearly every nation on the Earth times of celebration for all sorts of reasons, birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, weddings, babies, national holidays, and a host of others.
But this celebration is one where we get to celebrate with the One, only True and Eternal God, our Father, because of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who sacrificed everything He had because of His love for us to take away the darkness, sorrow and sadness from our hearts and bring His eternal light, joy and life to fill us and our days now and for all eternity.
So, wherever sadness and sorrow prevail we can bring light. We can share the love of Jesus with our prayers for the lost, with our gifts and provisions for the poor, with our support for those who minster at home and abroad, with our sincere joy in Jesus reflected in our words our countenance and our embrace. We can communicate more with a smile than we know. We can encourage and lift someone's day just by a simple sincere compliment or act of appreciation.
Many of us have lost loved ones to death during this season but that does not limit the goodness of God from surrounding us with joy for what Jesus has done that assures us our loved ones are in His presence, fully alive as never before and they will never see death again. When we celebrate Jesus they are celebrating with us.
The party began more than 2000 years ago and continues today and will reach it's fullness on the day that Jesus Christ returns to rule and to reign for all time.
So, deck the halls, trim the tree, set the table, wrap the gifts and give hilariously! Give generously! Give intentionally because that is who we are in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let's party like our Savior has overcome the world of darkness and put death, hell and sin away for good! Why? Because that's exactly what has happened and we now get to share in it!
Joy to the world The Lord is come,
Let earth relieve her king!
Let very heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing!
Sounds like a party to me. How about you?