FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21
“…believed on in the world”
1 Timothy 3:16 ESV
JOY TO THE WORLD
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
(Hark the Herald, Angels Sing)
In the latest film version of “The Grinch,” the Grinch is once again determined to steal Christmas. (spoiler alert) In this version, we learn the Grinch grew up without a family in an orphanage, and he became bitter about the joyful Christmas holiday. So, the Grinch dresses up as Santa Clause and steals all the Christmas gifts in Whoville on Christmas eve. He thought he had stolen the joy of Christmas by stealing the presents. The Grinch wakes up on Christmas morning to the sound of joyful singing coming from the residents of Whoville. The daughter of a struggling single working mom shares with the Grinch that Christmas is about more than the gifts. Therefore, they still can sing and have joy even without the gifts. Eventually the joy and love of the residents melts the heart of the Grinch.
So why should Christmas bring me joy even in the wake of family pain and all sorts of other pain? The reason is shared in the verses of Hark the Herald that say, “join the triumph of the skies.” Jesus in fact was born to defeat the curse of sin and the fall of humanity. Ultimately, the primary reason Jesus came was to do something about our pain.
1 Timothy 3:16 also reminds us that Christmas joy was for the world. John gave us a glimpse into heaven in Revelation 7:9-10 when he wrote what he saw:
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
This scene is made possible because of the birth of Jesus. Our source of unconditional joy comes from the birth of Jesus. If joy is missing from your Christmas celebrations this season take some time to reflect on who Jesus really is and why He really came. Reflect on how the pain you may experiencing is dealt with in the coming of Christ.