JOY TO THE WORLD THE LORD IS COME
I don’t know what images come to your mind when you hear the word JOY. On that first Christmas, Joy came thru a series of unlikely events, after a long, difficult journey, and no room at the inn.
At the core of Christmas lies a JOY that brings with it great blessing and significant spiritual power. The writer of Psalms tells us that Joy is a gift from God – Psalm 126:3.
For as long as I can remember the cold days of December brought with it the festive excitement of Christmas, laden with candles and decorations and gathering together.
Sometimes it was perfect…. And sometimes it wasn’t.
The year there were no gifts….until friends and neighbors showed up at our door with 6 bright red stockings filled with love and the true JOY of Christmas.
When the boxes around our tree weren’t wrapped with ribbons and bows, rather, they were filled with belonging acquired from our first little home together. Preparing to move 800 miles away from everything and everyone we had known, the REAL JOY of Christmas wasn’t dictated or displaced by external circumstances.
The year our “first Christmas Eve as parents” plans and expectations were dashed by fevered brow and crying babe, was the year we discovered anew… the most beautiful quality of Christmas JOY is the abiding sense of “enough-ness” that it brings.
When my profession found me spending Christmas in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit—challenged and questioning the JOY of Christmas, it was the words of the Prophet Nehemiah that sustained me—“the JOY of the Lord is our strength” – Nehemiah 8:10.
Real joy surpasses worldly pleasure and it even sustains us thru the hard days of loss and grief (in the PICU), or when we face that first Christmas without a dear loved one by our side.
Whatever images come to your mind when you hear the word JOY….
“Don’t be afraid; look, I bring you good news of great joy for everyone.” Luke 2:10
Even in the most challenging times the good news of Christmas ignites Joy.
Amidst the imperfectly perfect…. Fear not! Welcome the Good News! Ode to JOY!
JOY TO THE WORLD THE LORD IS COME!