Joy to the World!
Do you think the world could use some joy?
We watch the news or read the paper or take in the news feed online and we can't miss how much conflict there is in the world. We are the most prosperous nation in history, and yet to many of us it feels like we are barely keeping body and soul together. Addictions rob families of joy and leave behind devastation.
The Bible dares to claim that all the death and destruction and addiction and illnesses we face are the consequence of the curse of sin.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, took the forbidden fruit and brought sin into the world, the result was a curse on nature itself. God said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field." (Genesis 3:17-18 ESV)
And it gets worse. Because of sin, humanity is cursed. "The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one." (Psalm 14:1-3 ESV)
The world needs some joy, don't you think?
The world received "...good news of great joy that will be for all the people" (Luke 2:10 ESV) the night Jesus was born. That joyful good news is the birth of the Son of God to be with us. Jesus was born to become one of us. He was born to show us the face of God and the heart of God. He was born to take our sin to the Cross and pay its price there so we don't have to!
What is the price of sin? "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23 ESV)
There it is. Even as the Bible names our curse and its consequence, it announces the cure. Sin leads to death. Jesus gives eternal life. And that's good news of great joy!
Isaac Watts said it well in 1719:
Joy to the world the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing!
Make room for Jesus, and you make room for joy! Receive the grace of Jesus and the curse is broken. Set your face to follow Jesus and you will find that He is the Way to the Father. He is the Truth when the world says there is only opinion. He is the Life that breathes life into mere existence and lasts beyond the grave to eternity!
The world needs some joy, don't you think? Joy is found in Jesus!
Have a blessed Christmas!