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from the desk of…”Joy”

By Sharron Hudson, Lt. Colonel

This is my favorite time of year along with my favorite word of the season: JOY! Joy is portrayed in the Christmas story and carol sings: “Joy to the World, the Lord is come!” We sing these words year after year, but do we really hear the message?

The angel of the Lord appeared before the shepherds and spoke these words as the “…glory of the Lord shone around them—Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people!” That message was not only for the shepherds that night on the hillside of Judea, that message is for us today. Do not be afraid. The news of Christ’s birth is a great joy to us this day.

Before this glorious event took place, Mary—who was now with child—went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who was six months pregnant with John the Baptist. First of all, this is a beautiful story of a young woman seeking encouragement from an older woman going through the same circumstance. But another wonderful thing about this story is this: When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy” (Luke 1:41-42, 44).

So even John the Baptist experienced the joy that was to come with the birth of his Lord and Savior.

Nehemiah, after helping his people to rebuild the wall, gave much encouragement. The people had just listened to the Word of God and began to weep. Nehemiah said to them, do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Neh. 8:10).

As you listen to the beautiful story of our Lord’s birth, do not be afraid, do not be grieved for he brings joy to all his people!

 

Rejoice, Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee,

O Israel!

 

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