But the angel reassured them, saying, “Don’t be afraid. For I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere!” —Luke 2:10
05 Dec, 2020
The word ‘selah’ throughout Scripture is used as an exclamation mark at the end of a verse to help us pause and reflect on its meaning. Today, in day five of our Christmas devotional series we are resting on Luke 2:10. Selah.
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Repeat the Sounding Joy
by Lizzy Milani
Have you heard? Have you seen? Do you have that feeling swelling in your belly, filling up your heart, warming your blood?
That is the good news. It is a joy to hear and to share. Repeat the sounding joy, friends.
Joy to the world, everyone, everywhere.
But what exactly is this good news? This joy? A baby—born to a virgin in a manger?
Do you know how crazy that sounds?
A difficult, impossible, rich, inclusive, necessary joy
Beware of people and groups who try to peddle a cheap and easy joy, especially at this time of the year.
Because joy is many things, but it is not easy. The joy of birth is hard and painful. The first weeks of new life are a less romantic and more sleepless, crying, messy, no-time-for-anything-no-matter-how-important-because-new-born-baby kind of frustrating joy.
Yet joy is as rich as it is precisely because it is not cheap or easy, or light and fluffy.
And joy is necessary. In the pain and the heartache and the messy and the crazy and the news cycle and the natural disasters and the loneliness and the mediocre and the disappointing and the work and the rest and the ordinary. It’s what we need.
Joy. To everyone. Everywhere.
The angel told their audience that this joy was the miracle they’d been waiting for.
"...today in Bethlehem a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah. You will recognize him by this miracle sign: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough!"
It’s the miracle you and I have been waiting for, too.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her sovereign.
God’s presence is the ultimate joy
It seems to me that the joy the angel was proclaiming was not so much about what this baby deity would do, but how this Messiah child came to be here. Joy to the world because God is here. Present. Vulnerable. Accessible. Needy. Asleep in His mother’s arms.
That is the good news.
Joy is as fragile as a newborn baby fresh from the womb.
Joy is fortifying because it is as robust and as determined as a newborn baby taking its first breath, opening its eyes to a world it has never seen before and yet belongs within.
What His joy means for you
The good news is that no matter who you are, where you are, what your story is, what your level of access to resources is, whether you have been oppressed or privileged or you’re somewhere in the middle of it all—the joy you are looking for is not somewhere out there at the end of an epic and terrifying journey.
What you are looking for is with you already.
It is as miraculous and as normal as a baby being born.
And with just over four babies being born every second all over the world to people of different colours, tribes, ideologies, languages and religions, you do not need to look past your street, outside your front door, or beyond the beating of your own heart to find this joy that is for everyone, everywhere. You were a baby once, too. We all were.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Has come. Is here already.
Joy is a love story about coming home to yourself and finding yourself welcome, warm, and enough, embraced by divine love, held by grace.
That is the good news right there. And it doesn’t even have to be Christmas for you to sing about it.
Dear Jesus, Your joy resounds today. Please help me to find a smile and hold everything lightly in this season. * *Amen
Lizzy Milani is a Human. Person. Figuring it out as she goes. Author and co-creator of the practice co where she writes about life and spirituality.
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Let us together walk a journey of compassion this Christmas.
Advent Compassion Challenge
Today’s challenge is to share joy together as a community. Can you write a letter to someone in prison, visit a neighbour, or explore your community and look for places and conversations that share joy?
And you can share the simple joy of good health with a child in need. Mosquito-borne disease leads to missed school and work, expensive treatment, and even death. Protect children by gifting them an insecticide-treated net from the Gifts of Compassion catalogue.
2020 was the year of disasters, but you can restore hope to children who lost everything. Learn more