The Other Side of Christmas: December 23

Joy to the World       

December 23, 2019
by Kylee Fields                 

Luke 1: 26-38 (CSB) 
“In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.’ But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. Then the angel told her: ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.’
 
Mary asked the angel, ‘How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?’  
The angel replied to her: ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. And consider your relative Elizabeth - even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 
 
‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ said Mary. ‘May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel left her.”

 
In the world of constant hustle and bustle, it can be easy to lose sight of why we continue to press on, day after day. While we look forward to Christmas and the joy it brings, we hold the elements that are stealing that joy ever close to us, allowing one of the greatest gifts in life, the joy of a coming Savior, to be stolen by things of this mundane society. We allow school, work, self-doubt, and daily trials to steal Jesus’ selfless gift and to blind us from the reason we truly celebrate this season.  
 
But Christmas is not supposed to be this way, because Jesus has come, and joy is here. The same joy that filled the hearts of the shepherds in the fields can fill our hearts as well, we just must be willing and open. Leaving the protection and comfort of heaven, Jesus came to walk among us, to bring us joy in the most unpredictable and unjoyful circumstances. Even when it seems impossible, even when we are on the verge of breaking down because of the stress of this world, we must continue to choose joy. The same Jesus who is known as the Son of the Most High, the Light of the World, the Great I Am, is the same Jesus who brought joy to the world in circumstances that were very confusing and messy indeed.  
 
Yes, we must seek it out and yes, it is hard to find joy every moment of every day, but Jesus will bring joy if we bring our hearts to Him. The Light of the World has come; let us run to Him with open arms and a surrendered heart, ready to receive the joy He has set before us.  
 
RESPOND
Take the time to find at least 3 things that spark joy in your life every day. Whether it is what you are having for dinner or that you are getting to meet a friend for coffee. Make it a priority to find Jesus no matter the circumstance.  
 
PRAY
Dear Lord, thank You for bringing Your son into this world to bring joy to us. Thank you for the opportunity we have to more intently focus on the gift of Jesus this holiday season and reflect on the impact of joy His coming brought to us all. As we face the daily trials of this world, we pray that Your joy will come to surpass all understanding as we completely surrender our lives to You. Help us to seek to find Your joy in all that we do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

About the author:
Kylee Fields
 
Kylee Fields is a senior at Colonial Forge High School and has attended Stafford Crossing her whole life. She is actively involved in the Fusion Student Ministry and serves in Kids Crossing.