Alex Enabnit – Research Editor
Joy to the world! We’re smack dab in the middle of the Christmas season, and for many, this season is synonymous with joy.
Continuing on with our Advent series called, “The Arrival,” this week we discussed the shepherds in Luke 2 and the joy that they felt. Walking us through the story, Cal highlighted that this was an ordinary night for the shepherds when BAM! An angel appears. Isn’t it interesting that God showed up to them when they were just going about their business, not expecting anything special? Yet this is often the case with how God works!
Anyway, the angel delivers a message that the Messiah was just born down the hill. And then an angelic army appears and starts praising God continuously, enveloping all these shepherds with light. The angels leave and the shepherds are likely awestruck, but they decide that they absolutely need to check out what the angels were talking about. So they leave their sheep (something shepherds wouldn’t normally eager to do) to visit Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. After that, they run around sharing the news of what happened to everyone they meet. They simply couldn’t contain their joy!
All of this brings us to the big idea: one’s greatest joy is never kept to oneself. The shepherds could not keep this amazing news to themselves, even though nobody told them to spread it. It was just a natural reaction for them! So what is your greatest joy? And do you share it with others?
Although Christmas is a season that we often associate with joy, for many people it can be the opposite. Depression, thoughts of suicide, and even attempted suicides are sadly at their highest rate during this season. This can be a time of great pain and a time of great loneliness. All that is to say, there are people who need some joy right now. If you know the joy that Jesus brings, you could share that with them. Or just simply spend time with them in their sadness and let them know you’re there for them. Maybe even invite someone to a Christmas service and sit with them. There’s really no formula, but sometimes people don’t understand the joy Jesus gives until they spend time with someone who has it. Is there someone in your life that needs to know this joy?
Verses and quotes from the sermon:
Luke 2:8-20; 2 Samuel 7:8; John 10:11; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Psalm 23:1; Revelation 5:11
Angels We Have Heard on High – Josh Wilson
Joy to the World – Common Courier
O Come Let Us Adore Him – Central Music