December 16: Christmas Joy, Advent Day 21

Read John 1:1-18

What comes to mind when you think of Christmas joy?

In Greek it means something like “the awareness of God’s grace, favor, joy.” That’s why when the wise men saw the star that would lead them to the Savior they sought, they “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy”. (See Mt. 2:10.) They realized God’s favor. It’s why the angel proclaimed to the shepherds “good news of great joy”. (See Lk. 2:10.) That angel knew the news he brought would help those shepherds recognize God’s favor.

And how can one be filled with anything but pure bliss upon recognizing that the One in charge of life itself favors him or her? Think of it . . . God favors you. The One whose power opens dungeons doors, whose name frees people from darkness, Almighty Creator God has made Himself known through the birth of a baby so that you might recognize His grace and live with true joy. Christmas joy. God’s favor recognized.

Because of Christmas, you and I and all of mankind can know God. Because of Christmas, we can live aware of His grace, His favor, His joy. God made Himself known through a baby whose very life was given for the sake of His love for you and for me. This is the real joy of Christmas.

So slow down and notice. Step out of the madness of the “Christmas season” and remember God’s grace. Don’t let the joy of Christmas be lost on fleeting feelings of happiness that only show up when everything is “just as it should be”. Instead, look for signs of God’s grace. Find His favor in the truth of a song. Recognize the gift of beauty in a tree covered in tinsel and lights. Remember what Christmas is. Note the true wonder of the fact that God Himself invented this season for the sole purpose of His favor on you.

And live like you know what true joy joy is. Because you do. God came to earth and made Himself known so that you might know Him and love Him back.



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