Luke 2: 10-11 – “ 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!” NLT
This Christmas feels a little different. Whether it is the time spent in solitude over the covid pandemic, or whether we are isolating ourselves due to uncertainty in the world; this Christmas is different. We have watched the world change this year and some of us may feel that all we can do is sit at home and watch as it all unfolds.
I am going to encourage you to do otherwise. Now, more than ever, is a time of great joy! The angels appeared to the shepherds in the field and said, “do not be afraid”, Jesus has come and, “will bring great joy to all the people”. This Jesus that the angels spoke of is very much alive today. He is the same Jesus from easter when the tomb was left empty after his defeat of sin and death. This Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God on the throne. He is the bringer of great joy.
There is turmoil in our world, there always will be. We will always have challenges to face and an evil world that is always exposing itself to us. Paul wrote his first letter to the Thessalonians and he made sure to address their joy in suffering. “So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:6.
I pray that this Christmas season brings you tidings of great joy! That the Holy Spirit is bringing you the message that there is great joy in suffering. We will explore this joy all month long as we look forward to the celebration of the birth of our God incarnate, Jesus. Remember the words to the hymn Joy to the World, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come, Let earth receive her King, Let every heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing.” May we find ourselves receiving our King, preparing room for him, and singing the praises of our Messiah as those who are experiencing this joy!
~ Pastor Mike