Advent Week 3- JOY

 “When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:10-11
All the songs say it. We should be jolly and joyful at Christmastime. Joy to the World, Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, etc. So, why do I often not feel so jolly this time of year? What steals my joy? Life is often a battle for real joy. Life is hard and joy is, at least for me, not a normal reaction to stress and boy is there a lot of stress during the holidays.
This is one of my favorite quotes-
“The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not the moments of self-satisfaction, but self-forgetfulness. Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and contemplating your own greatness is pathological. At such moments we are made for a magnificent joy that comes from outside ourselves.”
John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life
Why were the wise men overjoyed when they saw the Christ-child? They were full of exceeding joy because they got to lay their eyes on the one who is the source of all joy, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who had come down to earth for them! 
I know my temptation at Christmas is to try really hard to find joy in celebrating and shopping and decorating but as much fun as all those things can be, true joy can only be found in God Himself. My prayer this December is that I won’t wait until all the Christmas preparations are done or until I open the perfect gift to find complete JOY in the one who came to earth to bring true “Joy to the World”.
“You make known to me <sup class="crossreference" value="(A)”>the path of life;
in your presence there is <sup class="crossreference" value="(B)”>fullness of joy;
at your right hand are <sup class="crossreference" value="(C)”>pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
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.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

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