Today’s Devotional is offered by Rob Blackwood.
Joy has been on my mind a lot lately. A few weeks ago, my alma mater (The Florida Gators, of course) finally beat our arch rival in football for the first time since 2012. This is a joy that I’m still carrying with me today. Yesterday was my sister’s birthday and for the sake of my well-being and potential future joy should she ever comes across this, I’ll say that she turned 25. It too was a joyous day.
With that in mind, I invite you to take a second here to pause and think: what is your all-time favorite birthday memory or when were you truly at your most joyful? Was it a particular gift you got, a party that was thrown, someone special that was there to celebrate with you? Was it just the opportunity to see another year?
While the source of that joy may be different for all of us, I invite you to cling to it and embrace it for the treasure that it is; that feeling of pleasure and happiness is often the greatest gift we could individually receive. And of course, if you are still trying to figure out that most memorable gift which will bring great joy, Christmas is less than 100 hours away so probably better act now, even if you want Amazon Prime to have it arrive in time.
But all jokes aside, the greatest gift humanity has ever received also makes a direct connection to joy. The gift that we will celebrate in a few days, the birth of our Savior, produces so great a joy that it not only extends to you, or to your family, or to all of Oxford Baptist Church, but to the ENTIRE WORLD!
At this point in the season, we all have heard Joy to the World more than a few times, but in this moment, take a step back and consider what the beginning of the song is saying:
Joy to the world, the Lord is come, Let earth receive her King.
This time of year, we sing this song so often that it’s easy to lose the weight of its words which remind us of what a great gift joy is through Christ. And if you tried to measure the joy the most magnificent gift humanity has ever received actually produces, well, it’s understandable why the theme of joy is so prevalent in the songs we sing during this season. Joy abounds, thanks to the abundant love of Christ.
As we transition from our Advent season to the days Christmas, I pray this year you would know Christ’s joy in a way that those you encounter would say it is palpable and would want to know its source. The greatest gifts create the greatest joys, as such, it is easy to see why the birth of Christ has produced joy for the whole world, across all of time.