Yes, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her king!
And as the angels appeared in the night, blazing with glory, I join their song. Joy to you – yes you – who are in darkness. Joy to you who are overwhelmed with fears for your health, and fears for the future. Joy to you who don’t know how you’re going to pay the bills in January, and Joy to you who don’t know how you’re going to get through this Christmas day in one piece without culinary disaster or family breakdowns.
Just remember the turkey didn’t survive, but it gave its life to ‘fulfill it’s Christmas destiny’ (famous quote about the tree from Phoebe in Friends).
Joy. Joy, joy joy. And the joy starts not with feelings, which waver and get swamped by fears and sickness and anxieties. Joy comes with a remembrance of certain goodness, the goodness and promise that comes from a place beyond our selves, and beyond our limited perspective. Joy comes, because God is good. Joy comes, because his promise is sure. Joy comes because Jesus came through for us. He was foretold, and then the moment came when he fulfilled everything that God had promised us years before.
Joy comes, as faithfully and as surely as the sunrise after night time. Joy comes in the morning.
Joy comes, even when life – and holiday celebrations – aren’t perfect. Joy comes when we are not perfect. Joy comes when we bow in our weakness and failure and guilt and sin, and find freedom and forgiveness at the Cross of this baby born to the world at Christmas time. Joy comes as we kneel, and receive it.
Joy comes today because there on the cross he bore our sorrows, and carried our griefs. I know joy now because he cried my tears and came close to all of us in our human condition. Joy comes because he accepts us and doesn’t abandon us. He is the reason for our song, and so we sing.
Joy to the world!
1 Chronicles 16:27
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.