Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Advent Words 2022 ~ Word 9: Joy


Word 9: Joy

The Shepherds

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: he is Christ, the Lord. "”

Luke 2:9-11


I love the image that this scene in Luke's gospel brings to mind. Shepherds doing their nightly job of tending the sheep, when suddenly the sky is bright as daylight as God's glory shines and His angel appears. I imagine their great surprise and then immediate fear. But the angel of the Lord reassures them: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people."

During Advent we celebrate with joy Christ’s first coming – His coming in the flesh to walk and live among us - the Incarnation of God. During Advent we also look forward with joy anticipating Christ’s second coming, “looking forward to [the promised] new heaven and new earth, the home of righteousness.” (2 Peter 3:13)

Advent is a journey to joy, but it is not we who are traveling. Joy is coming to us. ~ John Piper

At Christmas we are reminded that joy has come to us in human form. Joy has come to us to be our salvation, “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) We join with those who witnessed His first arrival. As did the shepherds, we respond with joy as they did:

Mary’s response to having been chosen to bear God’s child: “And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” Luke 1:46-47 

The Magi: “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:10-11

The Angels: “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14

"Good news that will cause great joy for all the people!"

A Savior has been born! Jesus, the one who would save people from their sins has come to earth. Emmanuel has come – God is with us. This is the Good News we still celebrate! Joy is at the heart of the life of the Christ-follower, for joy is our response to God’s gracious gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.

"Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.

    They will enter Jerusalem singing,

    crowned with everlasting joy.

Sorrow and mourning will disappear,

    and they will be filled with joy and gladness."

Isaiah 35:10 (NLT)


This week allow the journey of Advent to remind you of your joy in God’s gifts of grace, love and salvation given us through His Son Jesus Christ. And anticipate the joy we have to look forward to when He comes again. His salvation is our joy!

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:8-9

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