Christmas Day is around the corner. Oh joy! Is it? For you?
Now what’s the big deal about joy at this time of the year? Well, something happened historically that supernaturally released a lot of joy.
Isn’t it something that most of the world and most Christians have yet to grasp the magnitude and depth of deliriously expressive joy.
John the Baptist, Mary, a heavenly host of angels, shepherds, and Wise Men from the Far East had the pleasure of experiencing this seemingly silly joy. Actually I think they were allowed to tap into a Source of joy or rather, Joy tapped into them. Obviously they had no understanding of the FULLNESS of this joy unspeakable that showed up as a little bitty baby.
Hey, just maybe the Lord was trying to get us to see through these few, who had no idea what was really going on nor had they done anything to earn it, that excessive delight is available – for free! No conditions, no requirements.
What kind of joy?
We talked about baby John (the Baptist) and his wild joy in the previous post. To save time and words, here is a (Greek) nutshell explaining the kind of joy experienced by
- Mary – her spirit rejoiced in God – exulted much, leaped, was so glad she jumped in celebration because of being so experientially joyful (Lk 1:47)
- The angel (that showed up in the middle of the night in front of the shepherds) – he brought good news of large, great (in the widest sense) joy and gladness. (Lk 2:10)
- The sky full of angels (that also astounded the shepherds) – declared peace to the earth and goodwill (happiness, favor, delight) in men. (in is the real meaning of the Greek word translated ‘toward’ in most versions!) (Lk 2:13-14)
- The shepherds – now there are no specific ‘joy’ Greek words regarding these guys – but can’t you just imagine the wondrous delight they encountered in hearing the angels’ news of happiness for and in all? Obviously their haste to Bethlehem and their wide pronouncement to many speaks of some kind of uncontained excitement and delight. Then those who heard their stupendous news marveled and were astonished at what they spoke. (Lk 2:16-18)
- Wise Men – when they saw the star they rejoiced with excessive, violent, extreme, great, loud, even fierce joy and delight. Now we are talkin’ serious joy overload here! (Mt 2:9-10)
Of course religious tradition would say that is not proper. There must be decorum and control. We certainly don’t want to offend anyone.
Does churchianity even know this kind of joy is part of our inheritance?! Pretty much, not. Hey, maybe a smile or a laugh, but not silly hilarious joy.
Do you think Mary or the Wise Men were worried about what other people thought of their extravagant behavior? Nope. They were in a place beyond that. And they didn’t even know the full story of what was unfolding with His coming! But we can!
Then why aren’t more Christians stupefied with joy? Religion.
You just can’t be religious with the kind of joy experienced by those above.
May this Christmas stir up in you a desire to know this JOY. May He overtake you with outrageous gladness!
- There is more to this joy than being exuberantly joyful. It also has to do with strength. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh 8:10)
- Paul knew this joy-filled strength, even in the midst of a dark prison cell. (Php Php 1:18 2:17 3:1 4:4). Circumstances are not to control your joy level.
- Increase your sensitivity to restrictions and expectations of churchianity and religion. They are joy killers!