Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.Daniel 9:4-5
I remember one year when we had invited several guests for a Christmas party. Lots of preparations were made in advance. The tree sparkled and the nativity scene looked lovely; everything would be perfect. But I had to work late that day, arriving at home only moments before guests would be at the door. I barely had time to pull the refreshments from the refrigerator.
One couple arrived early, but they weren’t speaking to each other. A phone call let me know that another friend would not be able to attend. It was time to make a choice: Would I choose growing irritation or joyful hospitality?
Joy consists of a lot more than the temporary happiness we feel when things go as we’ve planned. More often than not, life seems to be marked by frustration and disappointment… all residue of the sin that has invaded our world. Because of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection, we have tremendous strength to call upon in those times. I chose joy that night of the party. But more importantly, the Giver of Joy has chosen me.
“Joy to the world!/the Lord has come/let earth receive her King!” (Isaac Watts, 1719)