Horizon Weekly | 10 December 2020
By Kathy Morales
The third week of Advent highlights the joy the shepherds experienced when they received the good news about Jesus’ birth. During the darkest time of the night, the shepherds were visited by the angels who proclaimed, “I bring you good news of great joy for all people” (Luke 2:10).
We can participate in all the festivities of this season but until we receive the gift of Jesus, we will never truly experience the joy of Christmas. Like the innkeeper in the Christmas story, for many decades I posted a sign in my heart that read, “No Room.” No room for Jesus in my life, my home or my relationships. The shiny presents of the world caught my attention and promised happiness but I ended up feeling empty. What I really needed was God’s greatest gift who came in the humblest of wrappings: Jesus, a tiny baby in a lowly manger. Through trusting the gift of Jesus Christ, God forgave my sin, gifted me with eternal life and filled me with great joy.
Good news. Great joy. Everyone wants it. Many promise it but only God can deliver it. The joy offered by God is different from the joy promised in an online ad and is not based on the excitement of giving or receiving the perfect gift. This joy comes from God alone and is based solely on Jesus abiding in your heart. Deep joy comes from an intimate place of remaining in Christ—through whatever life brings—knowing all is well because Jesus is in the midst of the outcome.
This good news of great joy is for all people. Join Jesus in His work by sharing this good news of great joy. As contagious joy grows in your heart, it moves outward to impact others. Your attitudes, words, and actions speak encouragement and bring joy. With a smile, a text, an encouraging email, a handwritten note or a listening ear, you can spread joy to those who may feel lonely or at a loss this Christmas season. Choosing joy amidst the most difficult circumstances benefits us and blesses others. Imagine how different our world would look if everyone spread the good news of great joy during this time of year like the angels who spoke to the shepherds. The joy that flooded the hearts of the shepherds is for all people.
What can you do this Advent season to start a contagious joy movement in your home, neighbourhood and workplace?
In one of the Methodist Episcopal Church Missionary Society’s yearly journals, this story appeared: A Hindu trader in India asked Pema, a native Christian, “What do you put on your face to make it shine so?” Pema answered, “I don’t put anything on it.” “Yes, you do,” said the trader. “All you Christians do. I have seen it in Agra, and in Ahmedabad, and in Surat, and in Bombay.” Pema laughed, and his happy face shone as he said, “I’ll tell you what it is that makes my face shine. It is happiness in the heart. Jesus gives me joy.”
Teach us this season what true joy is. Help us to experience and share the joy that the angels told the shepherds about. Show us the truth of the great joy only You can reveal through Your Son, Jesus. Help us to have grateful hearts for the everlasting joy You have come to give us. ~ Amen
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CNBC Weekly Horizon
CNBC Mission: We are churches in covenant giving ourselves away to advance the Kingdom.
CNBC Vision: We see a day when every man, woman, boy and girl has multiple opportunities to see, hear and respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ.