Joy to the World
At Christmastime, we sing Joy to the World. We hear the angels proclaim “good tidings of great joy.” We see the shepherds experience joy as they returned, “glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.” Joy runs through the Christmas story. I’d like to share a short devotional by Billy Graham that reminds us of how to keep joy in our hearts and lives throughout this busy holiday season.
Every year people write me saying how much they dread Christmas. Often their complaint stems from how busy they will be, or how much money they will spend.
Did those wise men who journeyed hundreds of miles across the desert to seek out the infant Jesus ever feel that way? After all, it took months to make the arduous trip, and they had gone to great expense to provide gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the new Child.
I doubt it. In fact, as their journey neared its end, we read they had “exceedingly great joy.” What made the difference? Their focus was totally on Jesus, the one who would be called “Immanuel,… God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
Don’t let this Christmas season overwhelm you. Don’t feel you have to do everything, or go into debt just to impress other people. Focus instead on Jesus.
Take time every day to read the prophecies of His coming and the wonderful story of His birth. Make this Christmas one of “exceedingly great joy”!
As we light the candle of Joy this Sunday, remember the words of the well-loved hymn. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
May God bless you with Joy this holiday season.
Pastor Cindy Offringa
Cindy Offringa is the Family Pastor at CCC. She enjoys working with the kids, offering support and resources for their families, and creating fun experiences for all to enjoy. She has been married to John for 22 years and they enjoy spending time with their kids and grandkids. She enjoys walking, swimming with her sister, and reading. She is constantly amazed at (and grateful for) God’s love and grace.