Weekday Devotionals

Devotional by Pastor Aaron Green

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,... Shout for joy before the Lord, the King! -Psalm 98:4,6 NIV

The ironic thing about joy is that I'm not really sure you can know you have it until you go through something hard or challenging; something that attempts to steal your joy from you. The writer of Hebrews tells us, "It was for the joy set before Him (Jesus) that He endured the cross..." (Heb. 12:2) joy was produced in the thought of the suffering. It's not because Jesus had this strange delight in pain, like some crazy person breaking a glass bottle over their head, but that He was able to look past the momentary affliction to the eternal life and peace that would be accomplished. It wasn't about bringing happiness to earth, it was about bringing joy to a suffering planet. It was about instilling into the people of this Messianic movement that we are a people who can be at peace inside while chaos ensues outside. We are a people that the world looks at when everything is crumbling, and they ask, 'how do I get what you have?' Unfortunately, Christmas has become the definition of chaos and stress. Kicking off the Christmas season is the stampede of Black Friday. 'Joy to the World' plays over the screams and cries of 'I got here first! This is mine!' The cost of our happiness increases with inflation. Is this really how Jesus wanted His birthday celebrated? Luckily, He has put into place some elements of Christmas that remind us it's about joy over happiness. The freshly fallen white snow for our northern neighbors reminds us of the purity He brought about with His passion on the cross. The lights remind us to be a light in the darkness of days growing shorter and shorter. Our Christmas trees point ever upward to remind us where our hopes should be, and the gifts that Jesus would like us to unravel are: hope, peace, love, and joy.

Merry Christmas to all! The King has come!
- Pastor Aaron




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