Joy to the World!
- Monday, December 18, 2017
- By Kyla Ward
Everywhere we turn we hear people wishing a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year. It may be easy to become caught up in a trivial debate about red Starbucks cups, saying “Happy Holidays,” or using Xmas abbreviations - but truth be told, Jesus did not come to wish us a Merry Christmas, He came to bring Joy to the World.
What does Joy imply? Here are some thoughts on the great Joy that is for all people (Luke 2:10).
Joy is. Joy is in the world because Christ Jesus is in the world. This is not an emotional quality – this is a foundational truth. Jesus was not coming so that we might all have perfect Norman Rockwell happiness around our dining room tables. Jesus came, and in coming He established Joy. Great Joy. Joy that is, whether we feel it or not. Great Joy for all the people. It is as real as Jesus. It is as near as Jesus. It is in Jesus' nearness that we encounter it. Joy is.
Joy is positional. This is the good news: Jesus is born. Jesus is Emmanuel, which means God with us. The One who is the source of all life has come to live with us. God is altering our position. We are no longer to be separated by our sin. We are, in the life, death, and resurrection power of Jesus, to be repositioned WITH God. This is Joy.
Jesus did not come to wish us a Merry Christmas. He came to bring Joy to the World.
Joy is the felt presence of God. Joy is not an emotion. It is not what we feel. Joy is Who we feel. Joy is the felt presence of Jesus with us. Joy is not found in getting everything we ask for. Joy is found in the blessing of God's felt presence. The Psalmist wrote “you will fill me with joy in your presence.” (Psalm 16:11b) Joy is the manifestation of Jesus with, in, around, before, and behind us. Joy is sourced in Jesus himself – where Jesus is, Joy is.
Joy is for all people. Can you think of anyone who is not in need of Joy? Let the stores and shopping malls compete for the attention of those looking for happiness in a bauble or a trinket, a gift box or a stocking. Those are the mechanisms that seek to make this season merry. Our message is one of great joy for all people. Let us be people who rest with Jesus in this season, and, with great compassion for a world that is often not at ease, echo the same truth and offer to each passing soul the desperately needed encouragement – “Joy to the World this Christmas! And always!”
This content has been extracted from Pastor Kyla's most recent Sunday morning message. To listen to the complete teaching click here.