The Joy of Christmas

Posted: December 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

christmas-joyAmong other things, Christmas is about finding our joy in Christ and, as a result, bringing glory to God the Father.

“The angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’” (Luke 2:10-14 ESV)

Do you see the connection? The angel’s news was about this great joy that is found in Christ, which in turn, leads them to give God glory. Simply put, receiving Christ as our joy brings glory to God. This is something that often gets overlooked this time of year with all our shopping and traditions. As Rachel Jankovic explains…

Traditions are tools that we use to make culture, to make memories, and to make childhoods. Traditions are not a base that we have to tag or we can’t count the run. Failure to make the gingerbread house does not make your Christmas a sham, for example.

If we were craftsmen, we would not mark our success by how many of our tools we touched. Instead, we’d look at the product. The point of gingerbread houses, cookies, homemade stockings, Christmas pajamas, hot chocolate, presents, shopping, caroling, lights, and every joyful tradition you can think of is joy. If you are failing to get that result, that’s a heart issue that using more tools will not help.

Joy is not something that you can manufacture through traditions—it is something you can shape with traditions.

But the joy itself cannot come from festive moments, new gifts, or tasty treats. The joy can only come from our salvation and our hearts resting in that. After that, joy is expressed in our physical world through our traditions, through what means we have at hand.

If your Christmas is not joyful, get things right with God. The joy of our salvation is the substance of celebrating. Traditions are simply a human response to great joy. Love your traditions because of why we have them, but never love them apart from our deepest joy in Jesus.

“Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” – Isaiah 12:5-6 (ESV)

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