"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." - John 15:11
Being joyful seems to be expected once Christmas rolls around, doesn’t it? The bright lights, the decorations, the celebrations. There is plenty to enjoy during the holiday season.
However, Jesus teaches us in John 15 that true joy doesn’t come from the gifts with our names on the tags, or all the good food that’s served at Christmas parties. Complete and genuine joy comes from abiding in Christ, allowing ourselves to be submissive to His commandments, and being fruitful followers.
Our challenge this season is not to allow the hustle and bustle of shopping for the perfect present or planning the perfect menu distract us from what’s most important. Instead, let loving people be the focus of your Christmas celebration. Share a kind word with a stranger, invite the neighbors to join you for your holiday party, grab an angel off the Angel Tree. Find ways that you and your family can abide in the love of Christ. Be fruitful. Be joyful.
Most Gracious God, we are thankful to be called yours. In this season, as we celebrate the birth of your Son, may your Spirit rest within us, may your light shine through us, and may your love be abundant. Help us that we may be your hands and feet, so that all may see you in us this season. Amen.
Pastor Judy Noel
Shelbyville Centenary UMC