Dec
23

Good News of Great Joy!

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good news of great joy

Luke 2:10

Joy is the heart-beat of our lives. We are joy-driven creatures – created by the One who is full of joy.

“In Your presence is fullness of joy;” Psalm 16:11a

God sends us His Son – the Word in flesh, Immanuel – God with us – so that we may be in His presence to experience daily the fullness of His joy.

Jesus’ instructions to His friends to remain with Him, the branches with the vine, was so that His joy may dwell in them and that their joy may be made full (cf. John 15:11).  God gives Holy Spirit to be with us and to dwell in us so that His joy may be manifest.

It is, after all,  the joy of the LORD that is your strength (cf. Nehemiah 8:10). His joy, His delight, His “glad to be with you” that shines upon you. His joy abides with us through all the seasons of our lives, never diminished by the events we encounter – His joy whether in tears or laughter – comforts, encourages, and restores.

And we have the ancient blessing which has become our benediction: 

The LORD bless you and keep you

The LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you

The LORD look upon You and give you peace   (Numbers 6:24-26)

This blessing repeatedly reveals that our joy comes from the face of God upon us – His very presence with us always.

There is something about God’s joy – His glad to be with us always (which by the way immediately follows love in the list of the fruit of the Spirit, “…love, joy, peace… “ (Galatians 5:22). Joy is so much richer and resilient than mere happiness. Joy, far from being a fickle feeling, is a rock in the midst of the greatest of storms and sorrows as well as in the times of quiet and celebration. Joy compels us, it is what we are made of, from and for.

And I have no doubt the night the angels brought the good news of great joy, along with the glory of the LORD and the swell of heavenly song, there were face full of mirth and gladness upon these angelic beings who could barely contain the joy of the One who sent them.

Of all the disruptions we have experienced this year – my prayer is that you will know the interruption of God’s joy upon you as we enter a new year together – beloved by God, belonging to His family, becoming more and more the sons and daughters He intends, and blessed to be a blessing to others.

May those who live under your roof, in your neighborhood, at your work-place, in all your comings and goings – see in you the good news of great joy!

Pastor Jon