Joy to the World, Jesus said I have come….

So what brings you joy? There are so many answers to this question I wouldn’t know where to start. Gardening, walking, grandchildren, a cup of tea oh and without doubt spending time doing all these things with Lesley. This is by no means a definitive list of what brings me joy.

 

A cut and paste from an online dictionary defines joy like this, a feeling of great pleasure and happiness (“tears of joy”). And then adds a whole lot of synonyms: delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, ebullience, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, rapture and radiance.

 

Have you ever experienced joy? And yes I know the ebbs and flows of life influence the immediate joy we know. There are times of sorrow and grief in life some of which are inescapable others regrettably are to some degree self-inflicted. But the overarching narrative of the Bible and in particular the Christmas story is a story of joy. This joy is independent of our personal circumstances as it derives its reality from God.

 

In Luke 2:10-11 we find these words about joy, “10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Saviour—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” This is no ordinary joy it is great joy. Great joy because a Saviour has been born.

 

John’s gospel (15:11) records these words of Jesus,” 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” These words of Jesus to his disciples then are no less real for us His disciples today. Spoken in the context of his obedience to the Father and subsequently their/our obedience to Him will result in joy. One New Testament commentator puts it like this, “True joy comes from participating in the kingdom of God, which is not a matter of partying, of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit brought about by submission and obedience”.

 

May you know and share the GREAT JOY of Christmas as you continue to seek, know and live a life for Jesus.

 

Pastor Stewart.