Summary: Nobody sets out with the goal of becoming jaded and bitter. There is no child thinking, “I hope I live long enough to be a really cranky nasty old man.”
Dakota Community Church
December 11, 2011
Well the third candle the “joy” candle is lit reminding us of the joy that Christ’s coming brought to the world. From one end to the other the season rings with joy but as you fight your way through the parking lot at St. Vital mall searching in vain for a place to park – you may not be feelin’ it!!
Here’s where the joy buzz get’s its start:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
JOY IN CHRISTMAS CAROLS:
• O holy night… A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices…
• Come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem
• Joy to the world! The Lord is come: Let earth receive her King.
JOY IN THE BIBLE:
This is a major biblical theme appearing more than 650 times in various forms;
(joy, rejoice, rejoicing, glad, gladness, delight)
JOY IN THE CHRISTMAS STORY:
• Luke 1:14 – Zechariah was told by the angel, “You will have joy, and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.”
• Luke 1:44 – John the Baptist leaped for joy in his mother’s womb
• Luke 1:47 – Mary rejoiced in God her Saviour
• Luke 1:58 – they were rejoicing with Elizabeth – and as we have already read:
• Luke 2:10 – the angel proclaimed, “Glad tidings of GREAT JOY.”
Even if modern commercialism has you feeling more Humbug than Joy over the season itself the truth is that:
1. Everyone wants a joyous life!
Nobody sets out with the goal of becoming jaded and bitter.
There is no child thinking, “I hope I live long enough to be a really cranky nasty old man.”
Those who eventually do not want joy, those who prefer misery; are broken, bitterness has taken root, tragedy has derailed them, and disappointment has hardened them.
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Joy is equated to strength! A person full of joy is optimistic despite circumstance.
This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
If you are not one of those joyous ones you probably know one or two and secretly hope for their crushing defeat in some horrible way. You don’t want them to die; just to suffer enough pain that they cannot help but indulge in a little complaining and self pity.
How do we get that way?
2. Life tends to drain away the joy.
Experience teaches us that reality seldom exceeds expectation.
- Lowered expectations dating site
- Tom Brady’s comments after his first Super Bowl win
I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished; they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. 22 Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.
Isn’t this a picture of the world we’re living in today - Darkness, distress, and fearful gloom?
“Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever…
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan—
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.