December 12, 2022

Advent 2022 - Joy

Devotion for the Week...

It's the third week of Advent! You can read this year's previous two Advent devotions for hope and peace; this week the theme is joy. While thinking about joy, the first thing that came to mind was walking with the child care littles when they spot Christmas decorations. They're so excited about every Santa and snowman and reindeer! The two girls are just-2 and not-quite-2, so they don't really understand everything that's going on, but they sure understand that Christmas is cause for excitement.

The next thought I had was about the shepherds. When the angel appeared to them, he said, "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!" (Luke 2:10-11). The shepherds followed the angel's directions and found the newborn Jesus and "after seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child...The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them" (vv. 17, 20).

The angel told the shepherds that this baby was somehow 'good news that will bring great joy to all people,' so the shepherds went to see Him. They probably peeked in at Him in His manger bed. They may have even asked Mary if they could hold Him (I have no idea...would a stranger have asked to hold a baby back then?). We know that they told Mary and Joseph about the angels, and that they told everyone else they met, too. But did they understand what was going on? Even though they were right in the middle of it, I seriously doubt they understood anything. They were excited and amazed, for sure. They were probably giddy with the joy brought on by seeing angels and receiving a personal message from God. But did they understand how Jesus would bring great joy to all people? I don't think so.

Even when Jesus was grown and teaching, people didn't get it. No one understood that He would save them from their sins because they were looking for someone to save them from a political conqueror. They wanted out from under the yoke of Roman occupation; they had no clue Jesus was there to give them something far greater.
Jesus' birth is good news of great joy for all people |
What about us? Do we really understand the joy that He brings for all people? We know about the salvation offered to everyone who believes. We know that He has redeemed us and restored our relationship with God. We know that we will spend eternity in heaven with Him. Yet even with all that, I can't help but wonder if we're like a 2 year old who just barely understands the excitement of Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. May the Joy of the season be with you all, now and always.


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