DID YOU GET THE MESSAGE?
“Christmas is upon us again and the shopping malls and churches echo that beautiful carol, “Joy to the world … ” How we love this beautiful carol.
But does the intended message fill us with joy? That because of God’s gift of His Son, Jesus, we have the reason to rejoice. ”
“THE REWARDS OF JOY …” so read an advertisement for a luxury car. It sounded strange to me; is not joy a reward in itself? So how is one rewarded by joy? Perhaps, the car was the object of one’s joy and owning it and experiencing the thrills of driving it were the rewards.
In our lifetime we experience joyfulness: success, marriage, births … and more achievements bring joy. But we know that all these are temporary and so is the joy; and at times joy has turned into sorrow. What then is true joy?
Christmas is upon us again and the shopping malls and churches echo that beautiful carol, “Joy to the world …” How we love this beautiful carol. But does the intended message fill us with joy? That because of God’s gift of His Son, Jesus, we have the reason to rejoice.
In Luke 1:46-47, Mary, says, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour”, when she is told of the gift that she will receive from God Himself and bring that into the world.
When we sing this carol lustily, does the entire message of Jesus Christ in our midst cause us to recognise the full meaning of that precious gift: Jesus – His birth, His death on the Cross, His resurrection, all this and more for us?
Recognising this is good but appropriating everything He came to do in each of our lives is the joy that God promises. This God-given joy is permanent for, “the fruit of the Spirit is joy”.
When we sing, “Joy to the world …” and all the other Christmas carols that remind us of His birth, we are corporately testifying to the world that Jesus is the Joy and the reward of having this joy is living out His love; and when we share this source of joy with others we are truly telling the world that He has come and will come again.
Joy is God’s good gift – His Son,
Jesus. Jesus is the reason of my joy.
He is all, and all.
And true joy gives and gives
Let me share my JOY with you.
The Rev James Nagulan is the President of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference.
The perfect Lamb of God
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
– 1 Peter 1:18-19.
FOR A MOMENT, stretch your imagination …
The manger was near Bethlehem’s sheep pastures, and the shepherds were summoned by heaven. They were Jews, caring for sheep.
At the same time the priests had their eye on breeding a particular quality of lambs, those without spot or blemish.
Now fast forward 33 years. When Jesus is making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the shepherds are bringing in the sheep, and particular attention is paid to the candidates for the Passover sacrifices.
As Jesus is being tried by Pilate, the priests are carefully examining those sheep. As they are satisfied they are saying, “I see no blemish in this one … ”
Perhaps about that time Pilate is saying, “I find no fault in Him.”
As the blade is put to the throats of the lambs, the nails are driven into the hands of Jesus. He was, after all, the perfect Lamb of God. – KneEmail.
Glenn Colley contributes to KneEmail, a Christian resource organisation.