“O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, buy joy comes with the morning.”
I can remember years ago as a small child the eagerness awaiting December 25th. Oh the excitement of that cold morning with fog on the windows and eyes wide open from a sleepless night! I remember waking my parents too early in the morning only to have them send me back to bed. After the 3rd time, they surrendered to my demands. I briskly walked to the living room where presents lay nestled underneath the tree. After every box was opened and trash glazed the floor, I remember that the crescendo was replaced by an emptiness and a hunger for more. The scooter I got lasted 6 months, maybe less. My joy over those gifts was very brief. I wouldn't even call it joy - it was more temporal happiness. That scooter rusted, the handlebars broke, the wheels wore down; it faded away.
This Christmas season our affections are being attacked by what the culture says we need: more and more and more. It's literally singing, "me, Me, ME, MEEEE!" - the very chorus of our nature.
Christian, the question we must ask ourselves is this, Is Jesus Worthy? Is He more worthy than the treasures of this world? If you profess and believe that He is worthy, then the Joy He gives is a reflection of his nature. Never fading. Never diminishing. This joy isn't like what I experienced with the scooter that was trashed after 6 months. Joy in Christ is His strength on our behalf that gets us through our darkest moments, our deepest pain, and our worst sufferings. Jesus promises joy that transcends time, past and present, and gives us eagerness to look forward to our future hope with Him.
Look to Jesus. He is our greatest Joy.
A prayer of Advent
“O Lord, our lives are filled with sin.
We forget our neighbors’ needs and
do not love you above all else.
We need a Savior.
Help us to see the finite pleasure of what the world offers
and the infinite pleasure in Jesus.
Spirit, help us to be thoughtful and courageous
in preparing Christ room in our hearts this advent season.
O come, O come, Savior of the World. Amen.”