This is the sixth in our series on The Christmas Story.
As we continue to look at all the events surrounding The First Coming of Christ, we should stand amazed at the amount of JOY that was being unleashed and spread around all over the place throughout the Christmas story. We do not give Joy enough attention. The Joy we are talking about is the Joy that comes from the Lord. It is a penetrating, abiding and freeing sense of gladness and exhilaration on the inside, over something anticipated or a present good. Remember, Mankind had been lost in sin and cemented in darkness for 4,000 years. The earth was all messed up, creation was awaiting something or someone to fix the utter state that everything was in. That there could be a release from this imprisonment could only be ushered in by a complete and overwhelming joy. The fullness of the time had come and this season saw the busy-ness of Heaven, preparing for the coming of Christ. As we have said so many times in this series, there were so many great and momentous things happening. The release of Joy to all was in full flow.
So many people were Blessed with the abundance of JOY around the Birth of Christ. When the angel appeared to Zacharias, he was told in spectacular terms, that “THOU shalt have joy and gladness; and MANY shall rejoice at his birth” (Luke 1:14). Shortly thereafter, Elisabeth visited Mary, the mother of Jesus, and John the Baptist was so supernaturally overtaken in the womb, “Lo, as soon as the voice of thy (Mary’s) salutation sounded in mine (Elisabeth’s) ears, the babe (John) LEAPED in my womb for joy” (Luke 1:44). After this, we see at the time of Elisabeth’s delivery, “And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her” (Luke 1:58). We subsequently have that moment with the Wisemen from the Far East, “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with EXCEEDING GREAT JOY” (Matt. 2:10).
Finally, we have the breathtaking moment of the shepherds in the field — “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:9-14). What we are talking about here is Good News, a Great Joy, for All of Mankind. And not just one angel sent from God to make that Ultimate Announcement, but a multitude of angels making an earthly appearance, giving Glory to God, the Most High, who long ago decided that He would come to get Man back. What LOVE God was manifesting. God never gives up on us. And what did Man get out of this? PEACE (shalom), which means “nothing missing, nothing broken”. And SALVATION (Matt. 1:21), which includes deliverance, restoration and wholeness.
We did not deserve any of this. Instead, the God of all Peace stood steadfast in Who He is and said I Love Them. And created a whole Plan to get Man back, and fulfilled that Plan thoroughly.
This is a time to get lost and absorbed in JOY. Put JOY on today.
Rejoice. Again I say, Rejoice. Let us not neglect so great a Salvation.
Think deep today of your own Salvation and how deep it is. Come out of that pondering then with the greatest exuberance and joy.
John McCurdy is currently a Pastor in New Jersey. His heart and assignment is to teach Believers to Believe and how to have the overcomer’s life – which John sees almost more than anything people are longing for. He teaches and has taught Bible School in the metropolitan NYC/NJ area, as well as to international students from several nations. He is an educated counselor and ministers to hurting people.