Remember Charlie Brown’s wistful lament?
“I think there must be something wrong with me Linus, Christmas is coming but I’m not happy, I don’t feel the way I’m suppose to feel.”
Maybe you’re not feeling the joy either this holiday, and you’re asking yourself, “What’s wrong with me?” But its not just you, there’s something wrong with all of us, its called original sin. We live in a sin stained world and we’re stained by sin too.
Christ came to change that.
- To change a sin stained world into a grace filled world
- To change sinners into sons and daughters
There is a remedy for the most broken part of life, there is a freedom for even the most enslaving habits and addictions, there is hope and healing for the deepest wounds and strength in the face of even the greatest fears.
It is the person of Jesus Christ.
And I don’t need to try and earn his favor or merit his mercy, or act like I deserve it, because I don’t and I can’t and I don’t have to anyway. God wants to pour blessing of joy into my life through the coming of his son. The Bible tells us joy is a of the Holy Spirit and God wants to pour it into our life.
The kind of Christmas you really want, those desires of your heart for the simple pleasures and treasured moments of Christmas, the joy of Christmas God wants for you as well. God wants that for you even more than you want it for yourself.
But we do have to prepare the way for him to do the great work he wants to do in us this Christmas.
Some simple steps will make it happen.
First, we have to be clear about what we want from our celebrations of Christmas, where, specifically is there no joy in our life. And as we’ve been saying this is done in prayer. Daily quiet time, a few minutes a day in which we actually talk to God and he speaks to us through his word will give us perspective and insight we otherwise will not have.
Second, create space.
Identify the stuff that will get in your way and get it out of the way when it comes to joy. Sin is always an obstacle for us, but so are congested schedules. Create space.
Third, kill good stuff.
Choose the great things the things of greatest joy over the merely good things this Christmas.
St. Paul describes the process even more simply:
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Prayer reminds us of what God is doing, what God is doing brings us joy. It’s that simple.