Pastor Chris continues our Advent Christmas Lights series talking about the light of Joy. The account of the Sheepherders in Luke chapter 2 is packed with a joyous coming in such an unexpected way. The shepherds were just out working another night shift when their lives were changed. Angels showing up, singing, proclaiming, fulfilling hundred year old prophecies and giving joyfulness like never before!
The sheepherders were not expecting anything like that to happen to them that first Christmas night. Do we live like them? First and foremost live with an expectation of Joy. Our culture is convinces that happiness (temporary) can be purchased. Materialism, Consumerism, individualism have blended to form a follow chocolate Santa within the American dream. Over promising underdelivering, the individual pursuit of happiness has catapulted the US to number one status at the most depressed and medicated nation in the world. Christ followers have to live rooted deep in the joyfulness of the Lord.
Joy does a work inside of us like we never expected or can understand. For instance, the Bible is chocked full of scripture where people were different and experiencing joyfulness from the Lord. Psalm 97:1, “The Lord is King! Let the earth rejoice!” Psalm 95:1 “Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” Isaiah 12:3 “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Shout aloud and sing for joy.” Psalm 63:7 “In the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.” Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
Above all, we have to give witness to Christ’s Joy. Happiness is or can be solitary. Joy is something that is shared and viral. Similarly, it is not something that you keep for yourself. The Apostle Paul while even in prison couldn’t keep it to himself. He writes, Philippians 1:13, 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, Rejoice.” Paul in a another letter to the church Thessalonica. Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Therefore, this is what God wants of us. To be joyful always, filled with all JOY!
How Can We Be Praying For You?