Advocate Journal

We just entered the Christmas season and this means getting ready for Christmas and New Years holidays. This means getting out the Christmas decorations and setting up the tree. This holiday stress begins with Black Friday or in some cases, Black Thursday, starting on Thanksgiving evening. This event in the stores brings a mad rush for bargains. Also during December, we have many Christmas programs and carols to see our children and grandchildren perform. We have a few more since my wife plays the piano for some of these programs. Also stress comes from Christmas shopping and planning Christmas dinner. With all this going on, we may get exhausted just thinking about it.

Instead of seeing this time of year as a time of stress and exhaustion, let us see it as a time of joy. The familiar Christmas carol, “Joy To The World,” brings out this message. In the Christmas story from the Bible, Luke 2: 10, the shepherds were in the field watching their flocks of sheep at night when an angel delivered the announcement of the birth of the Christ Child. The angel proclaimed “I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all the people: for today in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Joy is that inner peace, calm contentment and a bubbling in the depth of our soul that comes from God. True joy comes not from these activities, as important as may seem. Hopefully, we spread joy to others through these activities. As we carry out all the Christmas celebrations and reach out to others, we seek to spread the joy of Christmas.

To be able to spread the Christmas joy, we must have experienced this joy in our own hearts. As we join with the angels that appeared to the shepherds glorifying and praising God for the love given to us. This is the best present ever, the Christ child came down from heaven to earth as a baby who would one day be our Savior, deliverer from sin. This gift brings true joy to all people.

Even though stress and exhaustion comes from all the many events during this Christmas season, let us focus on the meaning of Christmas. Let us worship the birth of Jesus Christ and let us experience a season of joy.