Joy to the World may be easy to sing but are you truly joy-filled this time of the year? How is a dad to be joy-filled with all the end-of-year busy-ness? One example of how to do it is King David’s celebration when the ark of God was brought to the City of David. In 2Samuel 6:14, it says, “Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might.” King David put all the busy-ness of being king in its proper perspective, and reflected how joy-filled he was about getting the ark of God in its rightful place.
Should not the birth of Christ spark such elation, to be truly joy-filled as we bring in the CHRISTmas season? In this third week of Advent, the candle lit rekindles the JOY the shepherds were filled with when they heard the angels sing on high. Like David, what may have started out as a routine day where they were happy tending their sheep, their world was rocked with the news the angel would proclaim.
Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” – Luke 2:9-11. Minding the business of tending their sheep, the shepherds were happy, content in doing the work before them. And in a moment, everything changed. “Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!’” (Luke 2:13-14). Great joy filled the shepherds and they were off to Bethlehem to see what had happened, what the angel of the Lord had made known to them.
Tips to be joy-filled with the miracle of CHRISTmas:
- Lead a family discussion around the difference between being happy with gifts versus being joy-filled about the Gift;
- Read Luke 2:8-20 as a family - discuss the “good news of great joy” the angel of the Lord gave the shepherds and why they left their sheep to go to Bethlehem;
- Discuss the miracle of the Christ-child’s birth and the way it rocked the world, even the calendar – we went from 1 B.C. (Before Christ) to 1 A.D. (Anno Domini, or “in the year of the Lord”);
- Enjoy the tree, lights and gifts in context of the greater CHRISTmas story.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your plan of redemption – starting with the Christ being born of the virgin. And here I am caught up with getting a tree, decorating it and the yard with lights and buying gifts. I have allowed the CHRISTmas story to be dumbed down to things I do and stuff I buy! Joy is not exactly what I am experiencing. Forgive me. I will turn my focus to the Reason for the season. I will embrace fully the miracle of the Christ-child’s birth and the grace You extended me through Your Son. Help me show all in my circles of influence, how joy-filled I am about CHRISTmas. I want to glorify You to a whole new level in my family. That is the dad You call me to be, and that’s the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father is joy-filled with the miracle of CHRISTmas.