Luke 2:8–14 (NLT) That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 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 Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
I begin this 30-day journey in the deep end of the pool as we dive into the subject of JOY…
C. S. Lewis explained his journey to faith in a book entitled Surprised by Joy. He shared certain experiences he had growing up where a fleeting sense of pleasant desire overwhelmed him. These came in unexpected times and in circumstances that were otherwise unremarkable. After much reflection he determined that the feelings he experienced could only be understood as joy.
In describing joy, he writes, “it is that of an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction. I call it Joy!” (p 19).
“Joy was a desire (and, in so far as it was also simultaneously a good, it was also a kind of love). But a desire is turned not to itself but to its object.” (pp. 268-269).
“I had been equally wrong in supposing that I desired Joy itself. Joy itself, considered simply as an event in my own mind, turned out to be of no value at all. All the value lay in that of which Joy was the desiring.” (p. 269).
In the end it was in his longing for joy that drew Lewis into a relationship with Jesus. He determined that joy only finds its source in personal intimacy with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are so many images during Christmas that invoke joy—the excitement on children’s faces, the pleasure of giving just the right gift, the warmth of family together during the holidays, comfort foods, and even the decorations—can all bring glimpses of joy. But all of this finds its source and fulfillment in the good news that was announced by the angels to the shepherds on the night Jesus was born.
So What? What are the specific traditions or experiences at Christmas that bring you joy?
What key thought or thoughts about God bring you joy?
PRAY: Put into words a prayer to the Lord that describes how He brings you joy.
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