Joy. It’s the season for joy. Joyful songs, joyful children, joyful gatherings with families and friends. Yet for so many this season is anything but.
Stressed, panicked, anxious, lonely and sad are just some of the words I hear from so many people describing their lives during these holiday weeks.
Illness, cancer, crime, war, death, addiction and broken relationships don’t seem to be taking a holiday so that we can all get just a little break. Why? Why can’t we have just a little happiness? Why aren’t our lives filled with the joy the anticipation of this season promises?
The answer actually began in the garden. When Adam and Eve took of the fruit from the forbidden tree, they forfeited the true joy of a harmonious relationship with God and His creation. From that moment on the world has been filled with the consequences of life in a fallen world. All relationships, human bodies, vocations and the very earth itself ache with the pain of sin and in it’s brokenness cry out for a redeemer.
But as God was in the midst of cursing Adam, Eve and the serpent for their sin He inserted an incredible promise of hope. God, speaking to the serpent, told it that one day the offspring of the woman would deliver a blow that would crush his head. (Genesis 3:15).
Advent began right there. The anticipation of one who would deal the final blow to sin, it’s power and reign would be fulfilled thousands of years later with the birth of Jesus in the little town of Bethlehem. He was the promised one, He was the one the broken world and our broken lives have cried for. And in His coming God is fulfilling His promise of making right all that was made wrong. It’s there we find our joy. It’s not in our circumstances, in the events of our lives both in and out of our control. No, our joy is found as we in faith anchor ourselves to Jesus. In faith, believing that our circumstances, struggles and pain are not the final word or the end of the story.
This Christmas in the midst of whatever you are going through may you know the joy of being the Redeemers beloved and that through Him one day an eternity devoid of sin and pain will be ours.
This is good news.
“No more let sins and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make
His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found”