Vol. 6, No. 50 – December 12, 2021
Advent 2021, Joy
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 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.” –Luke 2:6-11.
Joy! What an announcement to a lowly body of receivers. Shepherds. They were not counted worthy in the view of the Jews. They were not even allowed to testify in court because they were viewed as untrustworthy. Yet God chooses to involve them in this great miraculous birth event. An announcement that pious Jews did not give any value for.
Shepherds were viewed as unclean, messy, not wanted, outside of any consideration of a holy God. one philosopher from Alexandria viewed shepherd in this way: There is no more disreputable an occupation than that of a shepherd.
When it came time for Mary to give birth—well re-read the focus verses. The Jews would mock the shepherds; God’s angels praised God in a shepherd’s field.
Has there been a time in your life you have responded to the Joy, God’s Joy?
So, God has determined, beforehand, that this is the is time to share His Joy. The angels are stunned with the completed Hope for a Messiah, amazed that it is the Son of God, fo they know Him, and in aweto the extent they cannot hold back their Joy.
How about you? Do you have God’s Joy in this season of Christmas?
God Himself is visiting our world in the person of Christ. It is proof positive that He neither has abandoned us, nor has He escaped us by only being afar from us. That in itself ought to convince us of His interceding in our lives, attending to our real need, and allowing His Joy for ministering to us flow through our lives.
As He reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him. and the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” –Mark 2:15-17.
That ought to have stopped their tongues (it did not, for these were jealous for their own gain).
When you continually think you are good, you are as a Scribe, Pharisee, or Sadducee. They cannot understand who Jesus is.
People who know they are not good (sick with sin) constantly scratch and look for an answer to their sickness. Jesus is the answer, it is His Joy to minister to people with that need.
How are you doing with your life? Is there a sickness of the heart you need to have Jesus replace with His joy?