Christmas is a time of great joy, a fact that is evident in the lyrics of so many of the songs we sing at this time of the year:
“Joy to the world! The Lord is come; let earth receive her King.”
“Joyful all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies.”
“While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains repeat the sounding joy.”
“How great my joy, great my joy. Joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy!”
Joy is also evident in the birth narratives found in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. It’s a joy that exists because the Lord Jesus has come.
Before Jesus was even born, Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with her own son, the child who would one day be known as John the Baptist and would prepare the way for the coming Messiah. When Mary arrived at the home of her cousin and called out her greeting, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb, who would one day be known as John the Baptist, leaped for joy. He knew that the Lord, the Messiah, was there in Mary’s womb (Luke 1:44). He had come!
After Jesus was born, an angel appeared to a group of shepherds tending their flocks. He was there to deliver to them the good news that would bring great joy: the Savior, Christ the Lord, had been born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:10-11). He had come!
Sometime after that, wise men from the East came to Judea in search of the King whose coming had been foretold. They had followed a star, which had led them to this land so far from their own. Upon arriving in Jerusalem, these wise men inquired about this newborn King. They were sent to Bethlehem to find Him. As they started on their way, the star appeared once again and they were filled with great joy (Matthew 2:10). He had come!
As we remember the birth of our Lord and Savior this Christmas season (and throughout the year!), may we be filled with great joy. He has come!
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let each and every one of us prepare our hearts to receive our King!