Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones!
Praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
Luke 2:8-12 ~
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
As the world awoke that Christmas morning long ago did they realize the magnitude of what had happened during the night? Did they sense a change in the air? Did they realize that the Savior of the world was lying in a dirty, dusty animal feeding trough?
The shepherds certainly experienced the joy of that event. The angel appeared first to these rough men. God allowed these men who were on the fringes of society to be the first to hear the wonderful message and they spread the news to all they met. A baby had been born who would change the lives of all he touched. A little spark had been struck that would become a flame that spread throughout the world, shining light into the darkness.
Today we light the candle of joy in church. There is great joy in my heart because the Lord is the center of my life. I am joyful because He has changed me. I have joy because no matter what is going on in my life, He gives me hope. I want to spread that joy to others.
This week as we get closer to Christmas Day, let's keep joy as our focus. It so easy to get caught up in busyness and forget why we celebrate. It seems like the busier we get, the less joy we have. We begin to get stressed, anxious and cranky.
Do you have JOY today?
J - Do you know that Jesus came to bring everlasting life to you?
O - Do you spread that life and love to others at Christmas and throughout the year?
Y - Do you remember how much the Lord loves you?
Joy is possible this Christmas. My prayer is that you are experiencing that joy today.