Scripture: Isaiah 65:18
Reflection: As we prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus, we must be glad and rejoice. Even this year. Especially this year. 2020 might not have given us a lot to be happy about, but we all have great reason to be joyful. Joy, inside our Christian tradition, is not simply happiness. It’s not a feeling or a disposition. It is not dependent upon the circumstances in our life or what is happening in the news. Instead, joy is a state of being. It is a fruit of the Spirit. Joy is a realization that you and I are loved beyond measure. It is found in God’s presence.
As the angels announced on the night of Jesus’ birth, “Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10) The gift of Jesus’ birth is indeed joyful. The Christmas carol, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” is so accurate. Joy came to the world in the form of the baby Jesus. There is one reason – and only one -that we can find joy in this world. As the song says, we can have joy because the Lord has come!
Prayer: Dear God, let us remember that the good news of Jesus’ birth has the power to bring us great joy this Christmas season. Our joy isn’t dependent on what is going on in our life and in our world. It doesn’t depend on the gifts we give or the gifts we find under the tree. Our joy comes from God. That joy that flooded the hearts of the shepherds, the angels, the wise men, and Mary and Joseph is the joy that still has the power to overwhelm our hearts with rejoicing.
Author: Mandy Rencher, Elementary Ministry Coordinator
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[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].