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December 2011



Tis The Season To Be Jolly
By Pastor Lew Pizzala
Luke 2:1-14
1 At that time the Emperor Augustus ordered a census of the Roman Empire. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All the people went to register in the cities where their ancestors had lived. 4 So Joseph went from Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a Judean city called Bethlehem. Joseph, a descendant of King David, went to Bethlehem because David had been born there. 5 Joseph went there to register with Mary. She had been promised to him in marriage and was pregnant. 6 While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have her child. 7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there wasn’t any room for them in the inn.
8 Shepherds were in the fields near Bethlehem. They were taking turns watching their flock during the night. 9 An angel from the Lord suddenly appeared to them. The glory of the Lord filled the area with light, and they were terrified. 10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, a message that will fill everyone with joy. 11 Today your Savior, Christ the Lord, was born in David’s city. 12 This is how you will recognize him: You will find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly, a large army of angels appeared with the angel. They were praising God by saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those who have his good will!”
For many the joy of Christmas seems to get lost in all the shopping, cooking, baking, and running that comes along with it! Many are not singing, “I heard the bells on Christmas day”, but instead it’s “I heard the BILLS on Christmas day”! Decorating the halls isn’t an occasion to make this season jolly but if we stop to consider the true meaning of Christmas our joy will be restored!
When the angel came with the good news he said it was a message that would fill “everyone” with joy. That would include even us today! So where is the joy that everyone is supposed to be filled with and how can you keep it during this very busy season?
First – If you want to find the joy then you have to receive the “good news”! The gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus was not born the Christ child 2000 years ago so we could give each other presents, have parties and decorate. He came for one reason and one reason only….to die for our sins! How can we not be joyful when we understand how much God loved us?
Second – If you want to keep your joy then you must keep your focus on Jesus, the reason for the season! Letting all the activity crowd out the joy you should be filled is a certain indication that you have let Christmas become something it shouldn’t be.
Go ahead – Listen to the Christmas music, watch the Christmas movies, bake the Christmas cookies, shop and enjoy your family but let us be most joyful and celebrate Christmas because of what God has done for us! He sent His Son to give to us the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal life!