Christmas is the season of joy! Our hearts are Filled with a warm sense of joy as we sing the carols, share in festivities, give and receive, and hear again the immortal Christmas story.
God knows that our world, filled as it is with sin, strife and suffering, longs to experience and sustain real joy. Christmas is the birthday of joy. The heavenly announcement that came to the shepherds on the Judean hillside that first Christmas sounds forth again for all who will hear: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people… a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
The magnificence of joy which Christ brought into the world can be the experience of every believing heart. In the Christmas story we cannot help but note how the shepherds were filled with great joy as they made their own personal discovery of Christ. From the humble birthplace of the infant Savior where they worshipped him, “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God” (Luke 2:20).
This experience is repeated every time a seeking soul comes in contact with Christ the Savior. An amazing joy is born within us to which we give expression in word and deed. The coming of Christ into one’s life through personal faith is indeed the birthday of joy in the heart.
The momentum of joy is seen in the Christmas story: “when they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child” (Luke 2:17). The shepherds were carried by the momentum of their newfound joy back to their everyday tasks with a song in their hearts and a witness of good news on their lips.
How often have we heard expressed the wish that the spirit of Christmas might continue throughout the whole year! This is possible and, in fact, is one of the reasons Jesus entered human history. The deep joy He imparts continues and expands as He assures us: “My joy will remain in you and your joy will be full” (John 15:11 NKJV)
The magnetism of joy is inevitable when a person discovers Jesus Christ as their Savior. On that first Christmas when the shepherds spread the joyous good news about Christ, their obvious joy created interest among their hearers. “And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” (Luke 2:18).
This Christmas season can be the birthday of joy for each one who will make their own personal discovery of the Christ of Bethlehem’s manger.
Robert Rightmire, The War Cry