Sunday, December 10, 2017

Advent 2017 #10: When Peace is Fleeting but Jesus is Still our Joy

We light the pink candle today, the third Sunday in Advent. This candle represents JOY. At Christmas, we have many reasons for joy: the birth of our Savior, forgiveness of sin, the redemption He brought to a world filled with sinners, Holy Spirit as comforter and helper, the unity of the body of Christ. 

In addition to the spiritual joy-motivators, there's also Christmas music, Christmas pageants, snow, Handel's Messiah, and Christmas sweaters. It's a fun season, as well as a joyful one.

Today, though, I "feel" more concern for our world than joy. I'm especially concerned over the Middle East, where there has been considerable anger, as well as many protests, over President Trump's announcement on Wednesday, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

It frightens me for the places I love to be in an uproar. I hate the conflict, the anger, the disdain, the venom. 

I'm not stating an opinion one way or the other about our President's decision, because I love people on both sides of the issue, but the unrest and rioting break my heart. I'm afraid of where we're headed. I don't know what's best, and I don't know how to bring peace. I wish I did.

As fragile peace evaporates like droplets on a hot skillet, I wonder, where's the Christmas joy in all the discord? 

I think of joy as a feeling, but, according to the angels who greeted the shepherds when Jesus was born, joy's not a feeling at all. 

It's a Savior.

"And the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'" Luke 2:10-11 nasb

This "joy for all the people" hasn't changed since the angels first announced it so many centuries ago. Jesus was our reason for joy then, and He still is. 

Today, I'm turning my eyes from the troubles of this world and putting them on the Joy who snuggled in the manger while the angels sang. He loved and healed and taught and delivered. Joy sacrificed Himself as payment for all the wrong we've ever done and ever will do. He rose to conquer sin and death and He reigns forever at the right hand of God.

Joy reigns, and it gives me great hope. 

Our world is full of strife and struggle. No matter how bad things look on this earth, Jesus our Joy is still on His throne, so take heart. He has overcome the world and that's reason enough to celebrate. 

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12 niv
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In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: #9: God's Love Language

Here are the links to the other posts in this series: #8: The Love that Saves Us from the Maggot Bed#7: Finding the Safe Place in a Crazy World#6: The Preparation of God's Love, #5: When Joy Flowed Forth and Splashed Into My Heart , #4 The King Who Will Not Let Us Down., #3 Preparing for Transformation#2 Preparing for the King with an Humble Heart, and #1 Getting Ready for Jesus.


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