Advent: The Candle of Joy

joy to the world

Can I be honest? As I sit down to write a post about joy, I’m not feeling all that happy. You see, I’ve fallen victim to everything I’d hoped to avoid this advent season. Sure, my day gets off to a good start as I spend time with Him. But then life happens and Martha springs into action!  She gets busy preparing for the Lord’s arrival. Mary, on the other hand, sees no reason to stress over the Christmas “to do” list. After all, Jesus’ presence is the only thing that truly matters.

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”     Luke‬ ‭10:41-42‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Who cares if the cards get sent? Do we really need cookies? So what if there are no special touches given to our decor? And what about gifts? I guess the response depends on who you ask. (Especially regarding the cookies…right, Mom?) Though I know deep down these “things” are non-essential for celebrating Christmas, they have become tradition and it’s difficult to part with that. Jesus wasn’t necessarily condemning Martha, but rather, affirming Mary. So, for all you fellow Marthas reading this, don’t beat yourself up, BUT also don’t lose sight of the one thing worth being concerned about.

Imagine the shepherds watching and waiting for days, weeks, months and years on end for the promised Messiah. Then. It. Happened. An angel delivered the news…

“but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”     Luke‬ ‭2:10-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The Savior that we ALL desperately need had arrived, perhaps not quite as expected though.

“And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” ‭‭    Luke‬ ‭2:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The King came to us as a baby. And, oh boy (pun intended), did He bring joy! As believers we have 24/7 access to the joy that comes from living in His presence for the Holy Spirit dwells within each of us. No one or nothing can steal that joy, not even life’s difficulties here on earth. I’ve often heard this differentiation made between happiness and joy: happiness is a circumstance-based feeling, but joy is not. Feelings change with the wind, but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬) and our joy is found in Him!

As Christmas draws near, may we each remain focused on that one thing worthy of our concern—Jesus, the baby boy who brought us joy!

As the popular Christmas carol begins…

Joy to the World! The Lord has come

Let earth receive her King!

Let every heart prepare Him room

 

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