MONDAY, DECEMBER 16
“and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
Luke 2:9-10 (ESV)
GREAT JOY IS A SHIFT
The infamous Tickle Me Elmo shopping frenzy of 1996 involved stampedes, scalpers, arrests and multiple injuries. Rosie O’Donnell helped kick off Elmo madness by featuring the Sesame Street toy on her talk show in October. By Black Friday 1996, the electric, stuffed Muppet was sold out in stores across the country and chaos ensued whenever they were restocked. Wal-Mart employee Robert Waller told PEOPLE about being caught in a stampede when his store received a late-night shipment of the coveted gift: “I was pulled under and trampled,” said the clerk, who suffered a pulled hamstring, injuries to his back, jaw and knee, a broken rib and a concussion. “I was kicked with a white Adidas before I became unconscious.” (People.com)
Some of you may be old enough to remember the Tickle Me Elmo craze. And every year there seems to be a new “must-have” craze. Perhaps you also know the joy of thinking the store is out of that one special item and then having an employee find and give you the last one. Instantly you go from utter frustration to happiness. It’s possible the shepherds experienced an even greater shift of emotions when they went from great fear at the appearance of the angels to being told they had come with good news of great joy!
There are so many things in life that can give us great fear and great anxiety. The heart of Christmas is a message that can shift the disposition of our souls from great fear to great joy. In what ways did you experience a shift when you came to faith in Christ? Are you experiencing great joy this Christmas? If not, how can a focus on Jesus birth make a difference?