It’s the 3rd Sunday of Advent! So, once again, we light a candle together – today is the candle of JOY.
I know you know it….sing it with me….Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:8–11
Good news that will cause great joy for all people.
From the human perspective, the birth of Jesus was under the radar. It’s not like today when, with just a few clicks, the masses can know something. Jesus was born to nobodies (by social standards), in the middle of nowhere, and no one (outside of the immediate family) really cared. But from the heavenly perspective it was the biggest happening in all of the universe since creation!
I love this moment between the angel and the shepherds. Who were they?! Why were they told? Was there some kind of gossip spreading circuit in shepherd culture that we don’t know about?! The angel could have told anyone, why them?
Or was it that the spiritual realm was just so electric with joy they couldn’t help but tell the good news to someone – anyone! It’s so cinematic, like in the movies when a man finds out he’s going to be a dad and runs out into the street to tell perfect strangers his good news…only way bigger.
Imagine the whole of heaven bursting with excitement. Jesus, their Jesus, was ready to bring to the world crazy, big, powerful good news. It’s so huge that it motivated the vast armies of heaven to sing and trumpet. Imagine what that sounded like!
Jesus was the original joy bringer.
The joy Jesus brought to the world didn’t just stop at his birth. Everywhere he went he brought it. Where there was pain, he brought healing. Where there was isolation, he brought community and acceptance. Where there was shame, he brought beauty. Where there was bondage, he brought freedom. All of those things left a wake of powerful joy.
But it all started at his birth.
Good news of great joy for all people. So, how was it good for you? How did the birth of Jesus affect your life? The whole point of the season of advent is to slow down and connect intimately with the passion of Christmas.
I can’t answer that question for you, but I will be thinking about it this week, and I challenge you to do the same. Let’s connect our hearts and our souls by receiving the good news of the birth of Jesus as great joy.