But the angel said to them "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.
I spoke to someone the other day that said they dreaded Christmas shopping, and I am sure we all can echo that sentiment as we have stood in the lines, experienced that special toy being sold out, and felt the wrath of the ugly shopper. Then looking at how much we spent and realized there goes a mortgage payment.
Then there's the decorations, and every year it seems like more. I remember bringing 15 boxes out of the attic one year that my wife had stored up over the years and almost every one was emptied out on decorating the house. Then decorating an entire island in front of the house that looked like a mini Lake Lanier light show. This took several days and required daily maintenance as lights burned out by the elements of nature.
Ah, the joy of Christmas, where has it all gone? It has gotten away from us it seems because we have gotten away from the reason for the season. Our focus has been clouded by the continual search for more gifts, more decorations and more unfulfilled expectations of what we receive in return for the mortgage we just spent. It was never intended to be that way, and it's intention is clear in the next verse in Luke:
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
That's the joy, we got the ultimate gift, nothing can top or replace it - and we give it back to others by spreading the good news of great joy. Wouldn't it be so nice if our children wrote on their wish list "I want to know who Jesus is?"
They will and our families will ask if we act like we know him and show them Christmas is all about Him, and a lot less about us. Merry Christmas all, may you feel that great joy as we celebrate this momentous day!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.