Reflecting on Christmas reminded me of The Pursuit of Joy/Philippians teaching series. Why? Because Christmas has become a time to focus on joy and happiness. Philippians tells us how to unlock joy and find contentment in our lives.
Remember Philippians 4:4: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
The word rejoice appears over 200 times in the New Testament. What is rejoicing? It can be different things to different people but I believe there are some principles that we can apply in general. Rejoicing is acting like you have something to be happy about. If your sports team wins the championship, you might shout, dance or even sing. If someone gives you the ultimate gift on your wish list, you would be sky high and tell everyone how excited you are. Jesus gave us the gift. He paid for it with His life. At Christmas, we celebrate the event that set that gift into motion.
My prayer is that you view the Christmas season as a time to rejoice, to celebrate what God did for us on that first Christmas night. Begin to rejoice for that gift even in the midst of the stress and pressure of the holidays. Rejoice for that gift even if you are not able to do all you would like or if you are separated from those you love. Rejoice in the Lord for He will never leave nor forsake you. Let this rejoicing seep into your daily life. Rejoice in the Lord right in front of the world. It ‘s the one time of year they won’t think you are strange. Well at least they’ll think your are less strange.
As you do, you will tap into the Joy of the Lord. That joy will change your outlook on the season and it will spill over to those around you. Rejoice and let your rejoicing spread joy to those around you. You may be surprised at the results for you, your family and even the world you live in.
The more meaningful a season is, the more reason to do things that help us experience the fullness of that season. So, unsurprisingly, this season has grown into one of the busiest times of the year – with so many options for doing and giving than any one person could not possibly expect to do them all. So, between all the things we do in and through the church, and all the opportunities available through work, the community and with family, celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
1. What is the best part of Christmas? What is the worst part?
2. What impact do you think that all the “merchandizing, stress, commercialization, etc. has had on Christmas?
3. What’s the one thing you would like to change about Christmas?
4. How do you rejoice in the Lord on a daily basis?