JOY

Posted: January 1, 2016 in Christmas Thoughts

What brings you JOY this season? I think that’s a good question for us to consider, especially in light of the Christmas season.

In 2015, I had the privilege of spending my Thanksgiving leading Christ’s Church of the Valley’s mission trip to Costa Rica. For me it was a great reminder that life’s pleasure has nothing to do with possessions. There were several highlights of our trip, but here was the stovetop where most of our meals were cooked. The propane was pretty expensive, so they used it sparingly and cooked many of our meals over an open flame.

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I also met a little boy named Jefferson. He blew out his only pair of shoes playing soccer with us, but he made sure to keep the shoelace because he knew his mother could put it to good use.

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Yet despite what they lacked in some of the comforts and conveniences that we enjoy here in our country, I never heard any complaining. In fact, they were some of the happiest people I’ve met.

What is it that brings you JOY? I was reminded of a passage from the very first Christmas…

Luke 2:8-11 (NIV) And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

I don’t want us to miss the words from the angel in vs. 10 = “GOOD NEWS of GREAT JOY.” It’s not hard to look around and see plenty of BAD NEWS.

  • Look around at what happened this year in San Bernadino (mass shooting).
  • Look around and compare what you have (or what you don’t have) in relation to others.
  • Look around your table and notice someone who’ll be missing from your holiday celebration. My dad passed away Nov. 20th, so my family and I are wrestling with this even as I type these words.

Today, I think we need a constant reminder…of the GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY the angel talked about.

Jesus has been born to US!  He is our SAVIOR. His PRESENCE gives us PEACE. His PROMISE gives us CONFIDENCE. His sacrifice gave us ETERNAL LIFE. His FORGIVENESS gives us FREEDOM (from guilt, shame, fear).

He really IS the GOOD NEWS. He really does bring JOY.

It’s my hope this year that you’ll experience the JOY of knowing Jesus.

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