The Joy of Christmas?
How joyful are you this Advent season? As you consider all the bad news associated with the pandemic, would you say that you are happy or delighted or joyful…?
We call the third Sunday of Advent the Sunday of Joy! We light a pink candle to symbolize the joy that we can experience as we anticipate the arrival of our Savior Jesus. But how joyful do you really feel when you think of the old Christmas traditions and gatherings that may not be able to happen with current government restrictions? How do you feel happy and blissful when you are all alone or family won’t be able to join you this Christmas?
For Christians, joy is a word that is filled with hope and faith. Joy looks ahead and has little to do with our current circumstances. Joy comes from focusing on the promises of Jesus that go far beyond what our eyes can see… While St. Paul was in prison, facing death, the Holy Spirit inspired him to write these words, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near!” (Philippians 4:4-5)
How could Paul be filled with joy even while he faced death? Because he wasn’t focused on himself. Paul was focused on Jesus! Like Paul we can be filled with joy in spite of our current situation! How do we do it? “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of God. Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinner, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart!” (Hebrews 12:2-3)
This Christmas focus on the gift of love that Jesus brings you!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus!” (Phil 4:6-7)
Filled with the Joy of Jesus,