Find today’s Family Advent Activity at the bottom of today’s reading.
I have loved Christmas since I was a little kid. I love the music, the trees, the lights, and the presents. You can see the joy of Christmas in the kindness and love people show to their fellow man. My favorite thing about Christmas is attending Christmas Eve service with my family. My heart overflows with joy as my family and I celebrate the birth of our Savior, and I reflect on all Jesus has done for me. Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year.
Christmas 2020 may seem different than Christmases past, but we must remember the true reason we celebrate Christmas—the birth of our Savior, Jesus.
This weekend, speaker and writer Barb Roose spoke to our church. During her sermon, she gave some history on the song “Joy to the World.” It was written as a poem by Christian minister and writer Isaac Watts and was included in a book of poems and hymns, The Psalms of David, in 1719. The poem that led to this popular Christmas song was based on Psalm 98. The first few lyrics of the song follow:
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.
The true meaning of Christmas is that Jesus our King came to this earth as a precious baby to save us all. Jesus is the Joy of the World—yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Theologian and pastor Rick Warren has been quoted as saying, “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.” With God as our Savior, we can live with joy, even while we are hurting inside or struggling.
That, my friend, is the miracle of Christmas.
This Christmas, praise God for the greatest gift we ever received, Jesus! Pray daily for God to reveal the miracle of Christmas to you year round. Praise him and thank him for all he has done for you. If you are really struggling to find joy this year, pour out your heart to him. He wants to hear from you. He cares, and he wants to fill you with his presence and peace. Trust him to be with you during tough times and heartbreak. I hope this verse will give you comfort:
John 10:10 (MSG)
A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
Jesus came to give us real and eternal life. A life that is better than you could have ever dreamed of. Receive the true gift of Christmas in your heart: Jesus.
What brings you joy at Christmas? What are you struggling with this season? Have you poured your heart out to God? Have you received Jesus as your Savior? If not, what’s holding you back?
Read Psalm 98. Listen to “Joy to the World.” Sing it at the top of your lungs, and praise Jesus for all he has done for you. Look for Jesus’ miracles and blessings daily. Journal them and review them during tough times.
Jesus, I love and adore you. I am overwhelmed with joy that you, my King, came to this earth to save me. I am so thankful your Holy Spirit is present in me at all times. I don’t have to do it alone. You are always present, filling me with your joy, peace, and love. Help me to remember the true meaning of Christmas this year. Help me to always keep my eyes focused on you. Help me to live in your joy at all times, no matter what my circumstances may be. Amen.
Family Advent Activity:
Family Connection – Use the following prompt to have some meaningful family conversations.
How does it make you feel knowing God loves you so much? That’s why God gave us Jesus. Have you asked Jesus to be your Friend Forever?
Pray – “I know I make bad choices, called sin. I know my sin should separate me from You forever. But instead You loved me and gave me Jesus. I believe and trust that Your son Jesus, died for my sin and came back to life. Thank You for loving me and for giving me the gift of eternal life so I could live with You now and in heaven someday. Be my Friend Forever! In Jesus’ name, amen.”
For more family fun, check out the monthly advent calendar full of seasonal activities.
This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.
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