The shepherds of the Christmas story spent weeks in the fields with their sheep, sleeping under the stars in wind and rain. These muddy specimens of humanity huddled cold and shivering around campfires in the inky black of night, while trying to stay awake to guard the animals in their care. And the sheep were by nature dumb, disobedient, restless, and smelly.
They were uneducated men with grime under their fingernails. I wonder if perhaps they felt hopeless… with nothing to look forward to, knowing that nothing about their lives would ever change. Life can become quickly pointless if you are a man who lives with sheep drool on his clothes and sheep dung between his toes.
Unexpectedly, heaven exploded into the small, cold and dark world of these shepherds. The song of the angels burst forth into the war zone of earth and proclaimed the joy of heaven into their stagnant, changeless existence! Stars were falling and bursting in rare and glorious colors, while the heavens opened and a majestic angel choir began to sing a mighty symphony that can still be heard today!
Jesus invaded this dark, cold world with heaven’s joy and it is still His gift to you today. His presence in your life makes shepherds dance and angels sing. Your heart can become an explosion of joy because of the birth of a Baby over 2,000 years ago.
You can receive joy because of Jesus … you can walk in peace because of this Baby.
The first word that the angels used to describe the birth of Jesus Christ was the word “joy” … and it should be the first word used to describe you as well! Joy is the birthmark of a Christian because when you accept Jesus into your heart you are branded for life with His joy. You have become a vessel of His presence where there is always fullness of joy.
Your life becomes purposeful as you carry the Christ child to this inky, restless world. The hopelessness of your life dissipates as you realize the honor of transmitting the joy of His presence to humanity.
Mary was the first human being to be pregnant with God so that we could be carriers of the divine DNA as well! Heaven’s DNA is spelled J-O-Y!
I’ve been reading the Joy! to Your World! A Countdown to Christmas Reading Plan at YouVersion.com. You might enjoy it, or one of the many other plans that are available. Check it out.