The Joy of Advent

I can remember well sitting in our doctor’s office, fully confident that the image that would soon appear on the sonograph screen would be... a boy. In my gut, I just knew it. Though my wife - also fully confident - knew that the little baby inside of her would be a girl, I still daydreamed with her about our little boy.

Who would he be? What would we name him? Would he love football as much as his daddy? Would he follow in his daddy’s footsteps? Would he experience premature male pattern baldness like his daddy? In fact, I felt so confident that our little baby would be a boy that I invested a considerable amount of time thinking about how I would console Stacy when she learned of the news.

The time came.

The sonographer walked into the room, applied the gel, waved the wand, and within seconds, told us, “Congratulations to the parents of a little... girl!”

I suppose only a few moments went by before I woke up from passing out! But after a few days of adjusting my crazy expectations and hearing the wonderful stories from dads of daughters, I could not wait to meet my little girl.

When the day came for Stacy to deliver, I met my beautiful daughter, and immediately, she captured my heart. In fact, the moment she caught my eye, she gave me a wry little smile as I spoke my first words to her. I felt joy in that moment that I can never replicate. I felt joy in my heart for my wife and daughter that I can never express.

Many of you know that kind of joy. You have witnessed it in the birth of your child, niece or nephew, or sibling. You have experienced it in the love of your spouse of best friend.

Where have you felt joy?

We all have felt joy that moves us beyond words. But even that kind of joy pales in comparison to the joy of the Father for you. God takes such great delight in you.

The prophet Zephaniah writes, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (3:17)

How amazing! The Lord, the God of the Universe takes great delight in you. He imagined you long before time began, creating you in his likeness.

Hear this: when God thinks of you, God experiences joy!

And this joy compelled God to send his son to our world so that you, too, may experience that same joy with him! While our sin broke our relationship with God, his joy and delight in us compelled him to save us, restore our relationship with him, and redeem us from the consequence of of our action!

Luke tells the story like this, "An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (2:9-11)

While the first sight of my daughter brought me joy beyond anything I could fathom, can you imagine the joy in God’s heart as Jesus lay in the manger, enacting God’s rescue plan for the world? I want you to know that my deepest, purest, most satisfying joy rests only in the knowledge of what our Heavenly Father did for every single one of us through his son! God rescued us! God saved us!

This Christmas season, may you come to know and believe this truth for yourself and experience the real joy awaiting for you!

QUESTION: Where do you need to experience the joy of Christ this holiday season?