” … We sympathize with those who experience misfortune at any
time of the year, but misfortune should have no influence on
Christmas joy …”
“Joy to the world!” Those words of the carol will ring out again this Christmas season. But there will be those who complain that there is little Christmas joy for them — that they just aren’t able to celebrate Christmas this year. Such expressions of woe are prompted by a variety of personal or family tragedies: the home has burned, a loved one has died, a job has been lost, serious illness has struck, etc.
Such complaints give the impression that Christmas joy is dependent upon the quality of life a person is experiencing. Apparently many believe that it is possible to enjoy Christmas only if economic, physical, and social conditions are acceptable. We sympathize with those who experience misfortune at any time of the year, but misfortune should have no influence on Christmas joy.
The people who can find no Christmas joy under adversity have completely misunderstood the true joy of Christmas. That joy is not found only among those who have a good life. It does not depend upon material blessings.
The commercialism that has overtaken Christmas has misdirected the attention of many people. They miss the basic reason for true Christmas joy. They do not understand that the joy of Christmas is to be found in spiritual blessings.
The carol continues: “The Lord is come!” It is the coming of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, as a baby in that Bethlehem stable that is to be our source of joy. He came to live and die to bring eternal salvation for all people.
Believing that He has done that for us, we have a joy which no earthly tragedy should be allowed to diminish. We have before us the most precious thing anyone can have — eternal life.
Jesus left the glories of heaven to become a poor baby in a manger so that we might have joy here and in eternity. The angel told the shepherds, “I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” The tidings? — “There is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Even in the face of earthly tribulation we can find our Christmas joy in the sure hope of salvation which is ours through Christ the Lord.
–Keith N. Olmanson