Joy is one the great blessings of Christmas. It shows up Christmas services with beautiful music. Joy is in the giving and receiving presents. Joy can be evident in reconnecting with family. True joy is not dependent on circumstances, but is a gift from God even when times are tough.
Joy is contagious. One December when our small group caroled at a local rehabilitation center, I noticed some residents joined in the singing while others did not. One man in a wheelchair frowned through every song. No hint of a smile at all. I could see that life had been hard on him by his physical weakness. His face was stern, his eyes sad.
When asked if he would join in the singing, he shook his head.
He didn’t move away from us, but remained in the hall near us.
Soon his lips formed the words of a familiar carol.
“I thought you weren’t going to sing,” my husband asked.
“It was too hard to not do it.”
As much as he tried, he couldn’t resist it. His eyes grew a little brighter. The power of Christmas joy drew him in.
What makes Christmas joy so special?
Joy comes with the birth of Jesus because Old Testament prophecies for salvation had been fulfilled. God kept His word and the Word became flesh. This is a reason for joy.
Joy is expressed through music retelling the story of Jesus’ birth. In the first two chapters gospel of Luke there are four different songs about Jesus’ birth: Elizabeth, Mary, Zacharias, and Simeon. All of these reflect wonder and joy at what the Lord has done.
Joy comes from God. The angels proclaimed
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11
Their message brought the joy of salvation.
We can receive the message of Christmas joy and spread it to those around us.
Joy to the world! The Lord has come!
Let earth receive her king! Let every heart prepare Him room.
Look in the manger to see the good news of great joy–a Savior has been born. May that joy touch your heart in a new way.
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