December 24, 2022:  Joy

Reading: Luke 2: 1-14

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!’



As we continue our series of devotions around “The Messages of Christmas,” today we look at joy. Can you imagine what you might be feeling if you, on this night centuries ago, were in a field and suddenly you saw a bunch of angels.  Oh—and they had a humungous message that the savior you’ve been waiting for is here. I bet you’d be feeling some joy. And probably some confusion.

As I get older, I’m a little more discriminant in what I do with my life. If I don’t think something is life-giving or joy filled, I’m less likely to do it for very long. I want my time to be filled with enjoyment, happiness, and joy.

What brings you joy? How are you filling your life? Is your time wrapped up in things that delight you? If not, maybe this coming year is a time to change that. Does this message that Jesus is born excite you? If so, maybe you should share that. (We’ll talk about that tomorrow.) For now, Merry Christmas on this holiest of days!

–Chad Hershberger



Give us joy, Lord, in all we do. Help us to find happiness in the message that your son, our savior, is here in this world.