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By Jan Knicely
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church 

Joy to the world!

 


We are about to come to the end of an exciting time in the church year…Advent. Many Christian churches celebrate Advent four Sundays and weeks before Christmas. Advent means “coming” in Latin. This refers to the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.

In a day or two, Advent will be over and Christmas will be here! With much excitement, we will welcome the birth of our savior, “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) What joy!!!

Yet, we know that during Christmas not everyone feels joy all the time. For some, there may be times of sadness and for others there will be no joy at all. Loneliness, poverty, loss of a job, sickness, absent loved ones, estrangement or memories of departed loved ones may just be a few reasons why joy eludes a hurting heart. Many have every reason to despair, but as Christians we can choose instead to embrace the blessings and promises of God. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us we can cast all our anxieties upon him because he cares for us.

Christmas is a time we reflect on memories. The truth is that Christmas memories touch deep into the soul,  making it hard to feel that “ho ho ho” joy that so many around us seem to be experiencing. However, there is another kind of joy. A joy that comes from deep within, when we keep our eyes on the Christ child. It is the joy of the peace, the beauty and the miracle of this holy season. It is the joy the angel spoke of to the shepherds while they watched their flock by night. “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord!” (Luke 2:10)

Angels revealed to the shepherds the good news of the savior’s birth. In turn, the shepherds announced the good news to others. As we celebrate the glory of Christmas, we must be sure to do the same. The savior is our peace and joy this day and always!

As the beautiful Christmas hymn tells us:  “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!…Let every heart prepare him room.”

Jan Knicely, Associate in Ministry, emeritus

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

 

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