This afternoon, I came to the conclusion that my daughter brings joy wherever she goes. I went up to visit the ladies in our apartment office and despite it being the end of month, which is the busiest time for them; they came up to her, smiling and genuinely happy to see her face.
Dictionary.com defines joy as “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation….A state of happiness or felicity.”
If your family or church follows the advent calendar, this week is the week of joy. So what does joy have to do with Christmas?
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 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 of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:8-15, NIV, emphasis mine)
The angels tell the shepherds that the news they were bringing them would be the joy for all people. The birth of Jesus is that joy. But why is that a reason for such joy and elation? Because of he was born to fulfill the need of a Savior. When sin entered the world, we became broken. There was no hope. The law was created to show us that we couldn’t be good enough. Nothing we did would ever be good enough because God is the King of the Universe. He is perfect. But then joy came as hope entered the world through the birth of a little baby boy. That small innocent child would grow to perform miracles, to live a perfect life, and to die a horrendous death on a cross to pay the penalty for us. Because he was perfect where we could not be, he was able to die as a sacrifice for our sins. But because he is God, he didn’t stay dead. Three days after dying, He rose from the dead to prove that not only could he pay the penalty of our sins, but because he is God, death cannot hold him.
That is our joy. That is why we celebrate. That is why there is Christmas.
The joy that I find through my daughter’s smile can only be overshadowed by the joy that I have through Jesus. He is my joy. He is the reason I can see joy in the innocent smile of a child. He is why, even when there are trials and hard times, I can still have pure, unspeakable joy.