December 15, 2022
Luke 2:8-14 Charlena Warfield
Christmas is a Joyous time. It is filled with bright lights, beautiful decorations, family, friends, and special services to celebrate Jesus birth. Luke’s message about the shepherds in the fields says the angels brought good news of great JOY.
But wait, the verses do not exactly describe JOY. It was dark and maybe cold. The shepherds were terrified by the things they were seeing and hearing. They left their sheep and found a poor couple with a baby in a barn in a manager. That doesn’t sound like JOY. I think they must have been overwhelmed and confused. But as the message continues, the JOY they found was beyond their current surroundings.
The Christmas season can be overwhelming and confusing to us as well. Not every Christmas season is filled with JOY. Personal loss, illness, broken relationships or simply the hustle and bustle of the season can overwhelm us and leave us sad. But JOY is there, even then. I find that explained in a somewhat unusual place, The Charlie Brown Christmas special. The story begins like those Christmas seasons when nothing is right and everything is wrong until Charlie Brown is so discouraged that he asks Linus what Christmas is all about. Linus replies, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “ Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great JOY which will come to all people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manager.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ”Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace good will among men…”
Wishing you JOY beyond your circumstances every day.