Season of Advent: Joy
There is a feeling common to most of us; it usually comes on in later afternoon or early evening Christmas Day. After all the presents have been opened and the food has been eaten, you look around at the remnants of Christmas morning and a sense of sadness begins to creep in. All the buildup over the last month- the decorations, the music, the parties, the shopping has led to this moment, an now it is over. Christmas melodies fade into a post Christmas melancholy.
We end the day feeling this way because in our hearts, we know that there is more. We are left wanting. The happiness we experienced surrounding the celebration isn't enough. You see happiness is built upon things around you; its fragile and cannot last. But real joy is something different. It is a deep-rooted gladness that remains regardless of circumstances. It is the feeling of safety and security that comes only through a union with Jesus. It has to be fought for, but it is worth it. Joy outlasts pain and hard circumstances, and it certainly outlasts the disappointment you may feel as you near the end of Christmas Day.
In His coming, Christ brought this kind of lasting joy. Through His life, death and resurrection, we have something much less fragile than fleeting feelings of happiness. We have Him, and in Him we have all we need. He has given us a new identity, His full acceptance and approval, and freedom to walk confidently knowing we are cared for and loved.
When we put our hope in the right place and receive the love of Christ- The Savior- whose birth we are going to be celebrating in a few days. We get to then walk out in Joy and that is far better than the fleeting happiness that the world offers