Advent Week 3 – Joy

img_1606What’s your favorite Christmas song? Silent Night? Sleigh Ride? O Holy Night?

How about that great Christmas hymn Hakuna Matata?

You know, the one that goes “Hakuna matata, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her king.”
Well, before you get worried that I have consumed too much of Aunt Edna’s fruit cake, I know it’s Joy to the World, not Hakuna Matata.

But the Swahili phrase made popular by the movie The Lion King sometimes sums up the concept of Joy. That phrase means “no worries” and that is how we might often describe joy. But “no worries” is not what the angels proclaimed that first Christmas. Instead they proclaimed good news of great joy for everyone.

Joy to the world! The Lord has come!
During this season, we hear a lot about joy and even sing about it. But if you’ll allow for a minute of introspection, many of us do not feel it. I mean, sure, we smile at the kids opening their presents, and maybe crack a grin at all the dad jokes at family get togethers. But that feeling goes away- shallow, disappointing in its brevity.

Yet the gift of joy offered to us in Jesus is one of deep and abiding joy. It’s a joy that is so deep that it can hold its own in a world full of darkness and disappointments. It’s a joy that transcends our troubles and struggles. It isn’t diminished by the circumstances we find ourselves in.
See, the joy of Jesus is more than just a feeling. It is a joy that causes all creation to celebrate, even while waiting for God to come through.

Psalm 96:11-13 NLT says, “Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he is coming!”

Jesus is coming. So we rejoice! The King who created everything is coming. And He promises to make everything new. He promises to bring His Kingdom to a world in chaos. He is coming. When it seems the darkness is winning, Jesus shows up. When you are about to throw in the towel, a baby born 2,000 years ago changes everything. God wins. God comes through. And for that reason, even when life is falling apart, there is reason to rejoice.

You see, when we abide or continue in Christ, when we stay focused on Him, there is joy that surpasses any other joy the world has ever known. So even though we will never have a time of “no worries,” we have the blessing of eternal joy in Jesus Christ, our Lord, who has come.

Pastor Adam Will is a native of Meigs County. He has been in vocational ministry since 2005. He and his wife and three children reside in his native Texas Community.
Adam Will is the Lead Pastor of Mt. Hermon United Brethren in Christ Church. The Church is located at 36411 Wickham Road, Pomeroy, Ohio. Their Sunday Worship Service is at 10:30 AM. For more information about Mt. Hermon and its ministries, check out their website at www.mounthermonub.org or find them on Facebook.