And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10 (ESV)
Have you ever watched a child open a gift that took their breath away. A gift that left them speechless? That’s Joy! Both the giver and the one who receives experiences that Joy.
I love finding that gift for someone that touches them in such a way that they can’t find words to express themselves. I think that is the Joy that the angels were announcing. “….. we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory….” 1Peter 1:8
Unspeakable, breath-taking Joy, that is the greatness of the birth of Christ. A gift that even the Angels could not fully articulate. All they could say was, “Good news of Great JOY!”
“Joy to the world, the Lord has come.”
We sing it every year and yet I wonder if we truly comprehend or appreciate that JOY? Maybe if we would take a few minutes to stop and think about what His coming has meant for us we could appreciate Christmas in a fresh way.
What memories does Christmas bring back to you?
King David says, “….YOU make me full of Joy in Your Presence.” David seems to be saying that being with the Lord is the source of his JOY.
The Joy of Christmas is not found in what’s under the tree, but in who is with me around the tree. It’s who I’m with that gives me Joy! Joy is the results of a relationship.
I have watched as my children (and now grand-children) have opened a gift that left them speechless. I’ve watched as they let out shouts of joy. It was and remains one of the greatest pleasures of my life. And, truth be told I always have more “fun” than they. (Please don’t tell them)
You see real Joy comes not from receiving but from Giving. It is “that” Joy that really is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) If you want to know real joy …. be a giver. If you want to be truly empowered…. be a giver.
“…I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
The Father was Himself to us. He was full of Joy to give himself, not only on that night but on the cross. “Who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2) Even in the difficulty of the cross he was filled with Joy. It is His Joy that gives us strength. Strength that empowers us to live through difficult times.
Have you ever gone through something that scared you? I have! Several years ago my friend took me on a motorcycle trip that proved to be one of the most life changing experiences of my life.
We rode over one of the nation’s most spectacular drives. It’s steep cliffs, sheer drop offs, and zero guardrails made for a harrowing drive. I never drove over 15mph, the consequences were simply severe.
The Million Dollar Highway, has humbled many egos, including mine. It’s not for the sissies. Every turn seemed to get more and more difficult. And with every turn my anxiety increased.
There was no where to pull over. No way to turn back and I am not ashamed to tell you I was scared. Well, I made it, obviously!
I was recounting this story one day, when without any real thought I heard myself say, “Well, if I had known I was going to live through it I would have had more fun.”
I would have! If I had realized that I was going to make it I would have “enjoyed” the ride much more. It made me stop and realize that too often we miss oportunities to have fun. We forget to be empowered by the sheer Joy of the Lord. If we are doing something, he is with us.
What is something that you have lived through that if you had know you would live you would have had more fun?
Jesus told us that he came that we “would have life, abundant life, and that we would enjoy it.” (John 10:10 NIV).
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
The Angels first words were “fear not.” Listen, we need to be having more fun. Christmas reminds us to have JOY. JOY that will empower us to go through all the challenges of life.
So Merry Christmas….
HAVE FUN EVEN IF THE RIDE IS SCARY!
Now … start having more fun!