“Do not be afraid. I will bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11
Christmas has not been very joyful for me this year. I’m usually a pretty jolly gal, but when you are far away from the friends and family who know you and love you the best, Christmas gets rough.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about things in my life I don’t have. And the more I dwell in the snow bank of discontent, the less I feel joyous about Christmas trees, lights, candy canes, snow animals with cute smiling faces….
It took a lot out of me to make the effort to take out what little Christmas decorations I had and put them up, and I still cringe at Christmas music.
Right now I am reading Desiring God by John Piper and it has exposed my joyless attitude even more. Piper’s signature slogan, the crux of his argument for Christian Hedonism, is:
“The whole duty of man is to glorify God and enJOY him forever.” There is that nasty word again. JOY. aka. unbiased happiness.
Jesus is JOY. Whether you get a bigger paycheck this Christmas, your family stays comfortable and safe, or on the flip side you lose a loved one in a tragic accident or sit at home alone in a town you barely know or like……….we can have JOY.
I know many people are struggling through this concept right now, especially at Christmas when we can’t get everything we want tied up neatly in a sparkling bow. But, I am reminded of that night when the light of the world came, and poor shepherds stood in awe, and kings bowed down, and the angels sang.
Why so joyous? Because God came to earth to become human and share in the pains of man. Jesus, God the creator, is with us. We can enJOY his presence, and not think about all of the stupid things we lack that we don’t even really need.
We have JOY incarnate.