But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)
Today is Christmas Day, a day of great celebration over the birth of Jesus who came to save us! The old story of death, alienation from God and tyranny under sin no longer rules. Through his life, death and resurrection, Jesus began a new story in which life overcomes death, forgiveness frees us from the shackles of sin, and our reconciliation with God is so complete that nothing, not even death, can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Therefore we celebrate, and rightly so. For this is great and awesome news! But Christmas is about more than celebration. It is about true and lasting joy. Happiness can ebb and flow with our changing circumstances. When we build our lives on the pursuit of happiness, life becomes a roller coaster of ups and downs as we experience blessings and challenges in life. But when we build our lives on the unchanging truth that Jesus came into this world to begin a new creation where God reigns, people live and justice, restoration and shalom peace are coming and we will have joy. The new creation is breaking into the old creation through you and other Christ followers and, one day, the old will be swept away. Everything good and of God will be preserved, everything wounded and broken will be healed, and everything evil will be banished. The reality of Jesus’ “now” and the promise of his “not yet” are steadfast. Joy rooted in Jesus will never be snatched away from you. You can have his Christmas Joy every day of the year!
Prayer: Dear Jesus, when troubles and anxieties come my way, help me to flee to you. I thank you Lord for all the blessings in my life. I ask you to help me to receive the true and lasting joy that you so freely give. Amen.