Joy to the World!

I once heard that if the good news of the gospel isn’t the best news you’ve ever heard, you must not understand it. A simple statement, yet profound in its meaning. It’s a phrase I’ve been thinking about a lot as Christmas quickly approaches. The Christmas season can be a hectic time. It’s full of traveling, spending time with family and friends, shopping, opening presents, and eating until we can eat no more. And while these are all wonderful things, I find that they often distract my heart from the one thing that Christmas is all about. John offers a helpful reminder in verses 1-5 of his gospel.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Don’t fall into the temptation of celebrating the wrong Christmas. Fight the urge to think Christmas is about yourself. It’s not. It’s also not about presents and family and food. It’s not necessary because we need more stuff. It’s necessary because we are sinners in need of God’s grace and love. Christmas should be a reminder to us that God entered into the world in the person of Jesus Christ. He was born to be a light shining brightly in the darkness. It is a reminder of the grace that God lavishly pours out for you and I. It should focus and direct our hearts on the one thing you and I were created to long for.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book Advent Devotions writes, “For the sake of human kind, Jesus Christ became a human being in a stable in Bethlehem… For sinners, Jesus Christ became a companion of tax collectors and prostitutes… For the condemned, Jesus Christ was condemned to the cross on Golgotha. For all of us, Jesus Christ was resurrected to life…All over the world today people are asking: Where is the path to joy? The church of Christ answers loudly: Jesus is our joy! Joy to the world!”

As you take time to reflect during this Christmas season, don’t forget the ultimate source of our joy – Jesus Christ. And if His story isn’t the best news you’ve ever heard, you must not understand it.

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About Kyle Richter

I graduated from Mizzou in 2007. I was a member of FarmHouse Fraternity and maintain an avid interest in greek life at Mizzou. Currently I'm on staff with Veritas and attending Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis.
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