Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Why I should be joyful

On Sunday evening I was looking at Luke 2v22-38 and it struck me that the people who met Jesus as a baby were all full of joy! So Mary was full of joy and the wise men were full of joy and Anna and Simeon were full of joy. There was a whole lot of joy knocking around. However, this joy was not like the joy which we enjoy at Christmas time. You see I have nothing against Christmas and positively enjoy it however, the joy we feel at Christmas is a completely manufactured joy! So we do certain things so that when the 25th December comes we will experience some joy. So we arrange parties, listen to certain music, get with friends and family, give and receive gifts, eat certain food etc all so that we can feel joy. You see basically we decide we want to have a good and exciting day and so put things in place to make it happen. This is very different to the natural joy which comes out of something good happening. This is a very different sort of joy to that enjoyed when we pass an exam or get married or have a kid or win the lottery. You see here something has happened which you cannot help but be joyful about. You don't have to put things in place to make you joyful the event itself is a joyful one!

Now because we can't go back to the actual joy when Jesus was born and experience the genuine joy many people seem to have felt on that day the joy around Christmas can seem a bit fake. However, as a Christian surely I should be as joyful as these people about Jesus coming to earth. So let me end with a few reasons why I should be joyful about Jesus coming to earth.

1. By coming to earth Jesus rescued me. The thought of being rescued from a seemingly impossible situation is a powerful one. I can easily imagine the joy I would feel if someone amazingly rescued me from impending death. By coming to earth Jesus rescued me from sin and the judgement that sin deserves.

2. By coming to earth Jesus brought me out of one kingdom and into another. Without Jesus I am a member of the kingdom of darkness. By that I mean that I cannot stop doing bad things and am living a life opposed to God. By coming to earth Jesus moves me from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. By that I mean that he gives me his Holy Spirit so that I start resisting sin and brings me into a relationship with God.

3. By coming to earth Jesus showed me God. Imagine the joy you'd feel if you actually met God. All that doubting gone, all that speculation over. Imagine actually seeing what God was like and experiencing his power, his perfection, his love! Well Jesus is the revelation of God and so by coming to earth Jesus makes it possible for me to see God.

4. By coming to earth Jesus reveals the thoughts of my heart. When Jesus came to earth he said certain things and did certain things which are so incredible that they enable me to see my heart, to understand it better and to recognise my failings better. As I get to know Jesus I actually get to know Jesus better.

The truth of it is that I either don't believe this or I forget it because I am not nearly as joyful about those things as I should be! I shouldn't need a dead bird, some cheesy songs, a pile of presents and some wild parties to make me feel joy. No I should be constantly experiencing a joy which comes out of the amazing things Jesus has done for me!

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