advent:: week 3

I think we experience a lot of Joy in the Christmas season. I think sometimes life's circumstances may impede our feelings of Joy- trials don't cease just because it is Christmas. But, I do think that there tends to be a good bit of Joy floating around. It is a joyful thing (albeit stressful sometimes) to buy gifts for those you love- to find the absolute perfect thing. It is a joy to receive gifts- the most perfect gift someone put the thought and time into finding for you. There is something that is joyful about having a tree in your house- covered in lights and ornaments you've collected over many years. There is joy in the three radio stations that play all Christmas music, all the time. There is Joy in gathering with friends and family who travel "home" to visit. And there is so much joy in the coming of Christ. Because (I know, if I've said it once I've said it a thousand times) the Prince of Peace has come to save the world.

We sing
Joy to the World over and over this time of year (much to my delight), and I think it does a pretty good job of reminding what really makes this season so joyful:
"Joy to the World, the Lord has come!... Joy to the World, the Savior Reigns...repeat the sounding Joy... He comes to make His blessings flow... He rules the worldwith truth and grace... makes the nations prove, the glories of His righteousness... andwonders of His love."

It is indeed a joyful season today because Christ was born. So, I can just imagine the joy felt when He was born in Bethlehem. The Magi, (or the three kings, or the three wise men) followed a star to find baby Jesus. They followed, and followed, and followed until the star finally stopped over where they could would find Jesus. Matthew 2:10 tells us,
"When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy." Maybe they were filled with such joy because they had finally reached their destination... finally they could stop walking. Maybe. But I also think they were able to rejoice exceedingly because they would finally be able to worship, adore, thank, praise & glorify this baby- this Savior of the World. The next verse in Matthew 2 gives me a pretty good idea of this: "After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him..."

They fell to the ground. I think the joy of their season was found in this child. Their joy was found in being honored and blessed to be able to bow down and worship this tiny little boy- who they knew was the Son of God. How humbling. How joyful. I am in awe sometimes at Christmas when I remember my King, the author and perfecter of life, was born in a manger- and he did it all for you and me. What great love. As I remember that, in this third week of Advent, it brings me joy.

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