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Great Joy.

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“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Messiah, the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11

For all the times I’ve waiting up until midnight eagerly awaiting Christmas day, I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated it with as much anticipation as I did this year. I was raised in the church but have never really understood the meaning of advent until now. I’ve spent the past month waiting in expectancy for Christ’s birth. Each week celebrating and embracing in the love, joy, hope and peace that comes along with the birth of Jesus. And now on Christmas day, I can finally understand in my heart what was taught to me so many times before- God gave us the greatest gift of all.

God gave us His son to have on earth. The gift of Christ isn’t just that He was born, but it’s because God allowed us to have Him on earth. Jesus let the blind see. He walked on water and invited Peter to join Him. Jesus taught us how to love and how to trust. He showed us what it means to shine the light of God. Then he endured the cross. He sacrificed himself so that we may have a relationship with God. In his crucifixion the curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom. He gives us the opportunity to meet God in Heaven. Because of His life, death, and resurrection we can have great joy.

On the night of Jesus’ birth an angel appeared to the shepherds and brought them news that would bring great joy to all people. The angel spoke out to shepherds of all people; the angel didn’t speak to kings or queens or the richest of the rich. The angel spoke to shepherds. And the angel didn’t say the good news was only for the shepherds, the angel said the good news was for all people. The good news of Jesus’ birth was for everyone to celebrate. It was for everyone to take great joy in.

So whether I get the new sweater I want or the fancy camera lens or I get nothing at all, I can take great joy in knowing that Christ was born today. He was born to be God in human form. He was born to rescue the world and all of the nations. He was born so that I might have a personal relationship with God. He was born to give me a chance at resting in Heaven. Christ was given to me by God. He’s a gift that I can celebrate every year. A gift that has changed my life in more ways than I can ever imagine. A gift that I will forever take great joy in.

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