We have covered Hope & Love so far this Advent. Week three is about Joy!
This weeks main scripture reading is Matthew 2:1-12. It is the story of the wise men and their journey to find the new king. As soon as the star appeared they set out in search of “the one who has been born king of the Jews”. They were searching for him to worship him and bring him gifts and treasures. They were searching for a reason to celebrate. They were searching for Joy!
Many times we are searching for a similar thing, a reason to celebrate or joy. But unlike the wise men, often times we miss the mark of who or what it is to celebrate or that provides that joy. They were spot on… They knew that this new baby would bring great changes and deserved great gifts and celebration. Jesus truly is the reason for this season. Without his birth as a little baby so long ago. We would be without Hope, Love or Joy!
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only.” ~ John 1:14
He came as a human denying all the privileges of who he was so that we may find that Hope, Love & Joy. Without that sacrifice (Himself) we would be condemned. We would have no way to have fellowship with God. We would have no Savior to redeem us from ourselves. We would be truly and utterly Hopeless!
Which leads me to today’s thought…Do we seek Him and search for him in our lives today? or Do we miss him in our lives? Do we offer him our treasures and gifts? Do we find joy in him or in our own selfishness?
In today’s culture of Christmas we are taught to want…want…want. We are taught to make lists, check them twice, and that what we receive is performance based. Our joy and self worth is based on what we receive and deserve. Now I am in no way downing Santa and the other fun Christmas traditions. They are celebrated in my house also. But this year like many others we are trying to put the main focus on Christ and others not on ourselves. (In fact I have no idea what my children even want for Christmas. Which is making shopping very difficult haha!) We are searching for the King of Kings and using the gifts and treasure that he has given to each of us individually for His kingdom. We are finding our Joy in Him!
Christmas is about humbling ourselves and putting aside ourselves for others, for HIM! The gift that we receive is one that could never be bought or earned. It is freely given without merit on our poor performances. The only string attached is that we then share that gift with others. We must share the Joy we receive. We must pass on the forgiveness through his grace alone. We must use the talents he bestowed upon us for Him. For it is through grace we are saved, not by works or deeds, and it is that grace that gives us joy. A true reason to celebrate!