And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She
wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger...
Joy to the world, the Lord is come. These words remind us of a favorite song sung at Christmas. When it was written, it wasn't meant to be a Christmas carol. It's based on Psalm 98 and is looking forward to Christ's return. Still, Jesus' birth gives us reason to celebrate! His coming to earth does bring joy to the world.
It brought joy to the shepherds. When the news was announced to them, they came immediately to see the baby Jesus. They then spread the word as to what they had heard and seen. They went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God. Joy to the World could have been their motto.
The wise men lived in the east, and when they saw the star, they knew something of what it meant. Had they had been looking? It may have taken them up to two years to find Jesus, but they didn't give up. And they brought gifts! When they finally saw Him, they worshiped Him. I believe there was joy involved.
Mary had been chosen by God to bear His Son. Scandal surrounded it, but she brought the Son of God into the world. What an honor! God wanted Joseph to be Jesus' earthly father. What a privilege to be chosen! Was there joy?
His birth was the beginning. It was humble and simple. And it was profound. He may not have looked like a king, but Jesus is the King of Kings. He is God. What Jesus gave up is unbelievable! He left His home in heaven to live on this earth. He gave up His divine privileges as the God of the universe to become a baby; a helpless human being.
He had a purpose. He came so we could see who God is in the flesh. By being born, it allowed him to grow up just as we do, learning to walk and talk. He was identifying with us. He would later die as the Savior of the world and rise again victorious over sin and death. He was given the name above every name. But it started with His birth!
Celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmas brings joy to us. Much of the world doesn't see it. Even those who sing the song may have missed what it truly means that Jesus was born. Our loved ones who have strayed may not understand the significance yet. But we are praying and believing for what God is doing...all because Jesus came to rescue us. And it started one Christmas morning!
Jesus is saying: I came as a baby so you would know Me. I love it that you find joy in
My birth because you know what it means. You understand its purpose. You
remember Me when you celebrate My Birthday. And the world is watching! Your wayward
ones are paying attention. It may not look like it, but they notice the joy, the peace, and
the hope that you have and they don't. Keep making Me your focus. Keep looking
ahead to the day when they too are saying "Joy to the World, the Lord is come!"
Chris Tomlin: Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy)