Sunday, December 22, 2013


December 23, 2013

Luke 2:10  "But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.'"

When Mary first found out she was pregnant without having been with her husband, she had cause for alarm.  She believed the report that the child would be from the Lord, but surely she had a few random thoughts during the pregnancy that caused her some perplexing emotions.  You and I think we have a lot to deal with in life, but when Joseph found out his wife was pregnant when he had not been with her, he had cause for alarm.  He had a lot on his plate going into that first Christmas.  Right after the birth of Jesus, an angel appeared to shepherds out in the field, not a natural event.  The shepherds had cause for alarm, maybe even trepidation.  There were a lot of intense emotions going into the first Christmas, from a human perspective.  All of which was difficult to comprehend at the time.

But every step of the process, (Mary dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, Joseph dealing with others viewing him as living with an adulterous wife, shepherds dealing with a frightening appearance of angels), was met with someone from heaven reassuring them it was going to be OK.  This event in life was not meant to cause alarm.  It wasn't intended to bring turmoil or difficulty or frustration, it was meant to cause joy.  The exact words from the angel were, "WILL CAUSE GREAT JOY." (emphasis added).

The Christmas story was anything but idyllic at the time.  If that had been my life, I would have thought about quitting.  But it was meant to cause great joy, not alarm.  While Christmas in the present certainly causes frustration from the economy, mixed emotions from family gatherings, and lonely nights, it was originally intended to cause great joy.  The birth of Christ was and is an enormous event for you and me.  We should be full of joy if we have Christ in our lives.  If you do not have joy this Christmas, then maybe you are missing Christ in all of it.

I can venture to say the only thing that got Mary though the pregnancy and birth of her son was realizing it was the Christ.  I bet the only thing that got Joseph through the first Christmas was realizing it was the Christ.  The shepards were able to calm down once the angels re-assured them it was the Christ.  After they all realized it was the Christ, they were able to experience the joy in Christmas, despite their own unique situation and experiences surrounded the surreal event.

If you are lacking joy, consider realizing the Christ.  It was meant to CAUSE GREAT JOY for all people.  "All people" means you.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Matt 1:18-21, Lk 1:26-38, Lk 2:8-20

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