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I have “joy” on both sides of my front porch, engraved in big red letters on Christmas pillows perched on a bench and swing.
After all, Christmas is a time we associate with great joy, be it from thinking about the birth of our savior or maybe even from the relatives and friends we see or hear from during the holiday. Maybe we even feel joyful over the gifts we receive. Well, at least they thought of us, although we didn’t need yet another necktie or bottle of lotion.
“Joy” was even a word used early in Jesus’ conception. When Mary visited Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist, Elizabeth said, “as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb with joy” (Luke 1:39-44). John was destined to prepare the world for the arrival of Jesus.
But “joy” is a word also used in the Old Testament. For example, Psalm 30:4-5 tells us, “Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name…His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”
Maybe when we think of joy at Christmas, though, the biblical words from Luke 2:8-11 come most to mind: “Now there were in the same country shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
Yes, Mary wrapped the first and most important gift to us. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.”
Merry Christmas to you all!
Donna Crowe is a minister’s wife.