Christmas Delivers Joy to the World and to You and Me
In Dr. Seuss’ Christmas story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the small-hearted Grinch steals food and toys from all the Who's in Whoville in order to steal their Christmas joy. But on Christmas morning, “the tall and the small sang without any presents at all!”
Stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps, is a whole lot more."
Oh, we know that Christmas surely is a whole lot more than ribbons and bows and packages and lighted trees. Christmas is about the God of the Universe coming in person to earth as a baby, born in humble and poor circumstances, laid in a manger in Bethlehem. We know that shepherds came to honor and adore Him. Wise Men came from afar bearing gifts to worship and adore Him. We don’t know how many others came to that stable in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago because they, too, got some sign, some revelation, from God that the Messiah, the Savior of the world, was born to them that night. And surely we know that for all who receive Him today as King, and Lord, and Savior, there is mercy, forgiveness, new life, peace, comfort, hope, and great joy in the heart forevermore!
Our message this morning is about Joy and comes from Psalm 126. The wondrous message is that for all who call on Him and trust in Him, God will come and restore, heal and forgive, and fill the heart with nothing less than “songs of joy!”
In his book, Naked Spirituality, Brian D. McLaren, leads us where we need to get to in life as Christians in terms of experiencing joy:
“But the scandalous truth is …that when we connect with God, it is as if we are plugging our souls into a pure current of high-voltage joy …that God is a joyful being and to enter or awaken to God's presence is to enjoy a bracing jolt of invigorating delight followed by increasing levels of unending pleasure…when we tap into the joy of the Lord, when we step into the pure joy that burns like a billion galaxies in the heart of God, we'll soon find ourselves shouting, dancing, singing, leaping, clapping, swaying, laughing and otherwise jubilating and celebrating.”
Brian McLaren is tapped into something exhilarating and powerful, wouldn’t you say? It’s the joy of the Lord! The bible overflows with it and encourages us to overflow with it, too. Joy drips from the nativity and Christmas story. Open yourself today to the Joy of the Lord. Like McLaren says, who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself dancing, singing, laughing, and jubilating! Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King!Your Pastor and Friend, Mark