December 15: Give Joy, Advent Day 20

Read Isaiah 9:1-7 and Luke 24:25-27, 32

They were looking for regal, so they missed His arrival. The children of God had been given fair warning that He was coming and still they missed out. Sure, they didn’t have an exact date, but still they knew. Or at least they should have known. They had heard rumblings from prophets of old that the King would come. Still they missed Christmas.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given . . .” (v. 6).

They were looking for stunning, spectacular, stately. But that’s not how He came.

“Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this? The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look” (Is. 53:1-3, msg).

Instead of majestic, they got a poor baby whose parents couldn’t even get a room at a local hotel. So the Israelite big shots missed the whole thing.

I wonder, if you and I were around at the time, would we have missed it too? Might we have been blinded by our own expectations? Are we blinded now? Is it possible we are missing the true joy of Christmas because of what we think it should look like? The perfectly wrapped present. The most beautifully decorated tree. The most amazing amount of cookies and candy canes and Christmas cards. The best parties to attend and Christmas programs.

Is it possible to have just enough joy to make us chase our idea of perfection to the point where we miss the actual joy and go right to the disappointed? Just enough grace to make us feel like we’re serving our Master while crossing it off our list, begrudgingly wondering why we bother.

Why not take measures this year to enhance the joy of the season for real? Join our Give Joy challenge this year. You can find out all about it right here: Give Joy

Then hand out the peace and love of Jesus Christ with true joy and an actual smile.


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