From the Pastors Desk
Dec20FriDecember 20, 2019 Pastor Byron Hand
The Christmas season wouldn’t be complete without reading Luke 2:8-11
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
What is the central focus of this angel? The focus is encapsulated in one phrase: “Good News of Great JOY.” Joy is the keynote of the entire Advent Season and this is reflected in the songs we sing. It is nowhere more evident than in Isaac Watt’s classic “Joy to the World.” For the Christian who realizes its significance, the message is powerful.
The secular, dictionary definition of joy—“the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires”—is thoroughly inadequate when applied to the Christian life.
I have always appreciated Chuck Swindoll’s definition of Joy: “Joy is a deeply felt contentment that transcends difficult circumstances and derives maximum enjoyment from every good experience.” Further he states, “Deep, contended joy comes from a place of complete security and confidence [in God] - even in the midst of trial. Joy springs from a life with eternity’s values in view.”
This good news of great joy, Watt’s wrote about, is wrapped up in the truth of the Gospel. God Himself invaded this world and provided a means whereby sinful man might live eternally. True Christian Joy transcends the merry-making happiness of our culture. True Christian JOY is the deep and solemn realization of what Christ’s birth has meant to mankind.
Indeed we can sing with confidence, gusto, and Great JOY:
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room