If you’re like me you are saying to yourself, “I can’t believe it’s Christmas time already.” BUT it is! There will be so many activities that will take us this way and that way. Through it all let’s try to remember that the recurring theme of the Christmas message is joy. Joy is the outer expression of the inner experience of being loved. Robert Louis Stevenson was right: “To miss the joy is to miss all.” I have heard of this fellow that would have a favorite saying each time he closed a conversation and say goodbye. He would take hold of a person’s hand and says, “Don’t miss the joy!” A sure sign that we have allowed Christmas to happen to us is an artesian joy which lasts all through the year.
Take the time to read John 15:9-17. Joy is not gush or ho-ho jolliness. Joy grows in the assurance that God will use everything that happens to or around us for our ultimate good and for His glory. True joy is what Paul calls a fruit of the Spirit – a result of the Lord living in us. We sing the familiar words from a Christmas carol, “O come to us, be born in us, O Christ Immanuel.” Christmas is not only accepting the love of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, but opening our hearts for Him to be born in us today.
It’s one thing to believe in Christ and quite another to receive His indwelling presence. The Lord Himself made the promise, “I will make My home in you.” “Abide in Me and I in You.” Life in Christ is claiming Him as Lord and Savior; life with Christ in us is the source of Joy! Jesus said, “I came that you may have life and have it more abundantly.” The abundant life is life with Christ abiding in us.
The authentic mark of a Christian is joy. More than circumstantial or dependent on people’s attitude or words, joy is constant and consistent in life’s changing problems. It is unassailable and vibrant. “Joy to the World, the Lord is come.”
Check out our Christmas schedule. Please, don’t miss the joy! I pray that I see you in church!