Comfort and Joy
God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan's pow'r
When we were gone astray
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
How is this Christmas going for you? If you had to choose between comfort and joy, which do you need Jesus to bring you right now?
Has it been a rough year? Does the thought of pretending to feel happiness and joy through all of the holiday parties and festivities feel like a lie?
I’ve had Christmases like that. I know all the lights, music and decorations maybe hard to look at this year, but let the beauty around you remind you that there is still beauty and peace in the world, even if not in your corner of it right now. And if there is still peace in the world, God will bring it back to you. Just keep walking beside Jesus. Let him bring you comfort this Christmas just like He did for the grieving widow in Luke 7:11-13. “When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Before Jesus brought her son back to life, he comforted her. No matter what your relationship with Jesus is like right now, Jesus’ heart is going out to you too. Your space between being comforted and your resurrection may be longer than a few minutes, but in the meantime, let Jesus’ heart go out to you.
What about joy? Has is been a great year? Has God done something amazing for you? Rejoice, and invite Jesus to the party. Several times in the Bible we see Jesus at a good party, particularly when there’s something godly to celebrate, like something (or someone) lost that is now found. Parties are celebrations. Think of the bash the father threw for the prodigal son, or the need to celebrate in Jesus’ parable of the woman who found her one lost coin. Don’t worry if not everyone understands your need to celebrate. Don’t be afraid to mark what God has done for you. After all, a Christian testimony has two sides: the pain that caused you to need comfort and the rejoicing once God has delivered you. True celebration is thanking God for what He has done, and the best parties are those where we as believers revel in what God has done for us. Turn on the music, make (or order) the good food, invite the friends over, go a little overboard, and dance. God gave you something good; have fun in gratitude.
By the end of most years, we need both comfort and joy. My guess is that you have some hurt that needs comforting and some great reasons to enjoy. My prayer for you is that this Christmas you’ll allow Jesus into your life, all of your life, to give you the comfort in the painful places and joy in the celebrations of your life.
Remember, love God, serve others and take care of yourself.