“Joy to the world the lord has come”: Celebrating Christmas and Ending the Year 2020 with Joy

Christmas reminds us of the joy the birth of Jesus Christ brings to the world. The joy that sustains us in the midst of sorrowful, mournful, and difficult situations. Joy to the world the lord has come, let every heart repeat the sounding joy. People who give too much attention to negative stories and narratives and do not understand the spirituality, the psychology and process of multiplying joy conclude that it is impossible to be joyful in the times we have found ourselves. They do not find reasons to celebrate Christmas with joy while experiencing the heat of the pandemic, end the year that has battered and shattered our plans with joy and expect the year 2021 with joy. In his wisdom, design, and providence, God from the foundations of the world has made available the oil of joy for us instead of mourning (Isaiah 61:3). No one will allow any situation or circumstance steal his or her joy if one understands the dynamics and power of joy.

Joy is a spiritual experience which sustains our relationship with God. This experience places us above “joy-sucking” situations or circumstances around us which are meant to blur our view of God, the good things we are experiencing and the power of God to save us. The moment we allow our situations and circumstances rob us of our joy, we may begin to struggle with our relationship with God. This is because it is with joy that we will draw water from the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3). As Paul admonishes: “rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). To insist on being joyful is doing the will of God.

Our joy as our love for God is everyday threatened by forces in this world. God who sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) has provided us with weapons to counter those forces. Jesus’ mission is to preach good news to the poor, bind up the broken-hearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Jesus would also “provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (Isaiah 60:1-3). Nothing is worth taking away our joy!

Joy is infectious, it attracts and is magnetic. We multiply our joy when we stay joyful. Those who stay joyful despite the situation of things around them experience more joy. While those who allow their joy to be stolen away because of their circumstances, even the little they have, will be taken away from them. The logic of “whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them (Matt 12:13) applies to joy. We can also multiply our joy by making others joyful. “Elizabeth told Mary “as soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:44). Mary marveled at the beautiful things said about her by Elizabeth and could not contain her joy but echoed her thankful hymn of praise—the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).

It has been indeed a turbulent year. At one point or the other everyone experienced the discomfort that cut across our world throughout this year. We are celebrating Christmas this year amidst a pandemic, ending the year very exhausted and looking to the coming year with fear, uncertainty, and anxiety. Despite all our experiences, remaining joyful is a spiritual and psychological reality we cannot do without.

Knowing that joy begets joy, let us celebrate this Christmas even amidst this pandemic with joy. Let us be grateful and joyful that this year is coming to end and let us be joyful about the coming year because we know that the plans that God has for us is to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

Always remember, God is bigger than what we have been through, what we are going through and what we will go through. With this knowledge and assurance, let us remain joyful and celebrate with joy.

Wish you a joyful Christmas celebration and a happy 2021!

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