Advent 12 - Rejoice!

DAY 12 - Rejoice!
Read Luke 1:26-28 

Are you a joyful person?

In Luke 1, God offers Mary of Nazareth a baby. More than that, God’s giving her joy! In the NIV translation, the angel says, “Greetings!” Another fair way of putting that into English is, “Rejoice!”

God wants us to celebrate! The angels tell the shepherds when Jesus is born that he is “good news that will bring joy to all the people” (Lk 2:10). The New Testament talks about Christians being “filled with joy and the Holy Spirit” (Lk 10:21; Ac 13:52; Ro 14:17; 1 Th 1:6). It’s almost like they’re the same thing. You can’t be filled with the Spirit of Christ without feeling knowing God’s joy.

However, many Christians have a reputation for being uptight and joyless. One of my friends used to say, “Christians shouldn’t look like they’ve been sucking on pickles!”

I’ve known some Christians like this. I preached in some small-town churches right after Angel and I were married. We lived in a parsonage, a church-owned house, right next door to one of the churches. We were the only young people in our little church. Some prayed for new people to meet Jesus through our church. Our church also had a wooden ramp at an entrance for accessibility. But - God bless her - one crusading elder put a “NO SKATEBOARDING” sign on the ramp. She was hard to get along with and the head pastor told me she’d run off many people from the church over the years. That sign might as well have said, “Stay away!” or, “No joy allowed!”

Sometimes I’m the sour-looking joy killer. I can be a wet blanket who doesn’t exude joy. I’m sure you have days like that. But God wants us to have joy, to BE joyful. God’s joy in us will naturally invite people in.

Who is the most joyful person you know?
Do you think others see you as a joyful person? Why or why not?

Almighty God, you have made us and all things to serve you, now prepare the world for your rule.
Come quickly to save us, so that wars and violence shall end, and your children may live in peace, honoring one another with justice and love; through Jesus Christ, who lives in power with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.
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