Tired of hearing and/or singing Joy to The World yet? Hopefully not, because the narratives of the birth of Christ have an undercurrent of joy (that continues through Acts and the epistles, but that’s another post):
- When the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah, he told him that the son to be born would be a source of joy and delight to both Zechariah and others (Luke 1:14). And so it was at John’s birth Elizabeth’s neighbours and relatives rejoiced with her (Luke 1:57-58).
- Mary, on meeting Elizabeth, sang the Magnificat which begins with her rejoicing in God her Saviour (Luke 1:47)
- The angel in the night sky proclaimed to the Bethlehem shepherds good news of great joy (Luke 2:10).
- Finally, the Magi also rejoiced at seeing the star that had led them to worship the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:10).
Why did God choose to send His joy to an ordinary priest and his barren wife, a young woman in an unimportant village, a bunch of smelly herders, and despised Gentiles? Indeed, if you’re a Christian, why did He send the joy of His salvation to you (1 Peter 1:8-9)?
The short answer is God’s mercy (Romans 9:15-16). For that we rejoice some more and glorify Him, as did the shepherds (Luke 2:20). Don’t ever get jaded. Don’t ever lose your amazement at God’s salvation. Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice greatly!
PS: If this post has left you feeling a little underwhelmed, then click over to The nativity and the art of hiding in plain sight, it’s a great read!