One of the most beloved Christmas carols is “Joy to the World.” We sing: “Joy to the World! the Lord is come. Let earth receive her king.” The coming of Jesus Christ brings joy!
Advent Joy anticipates the coming of Jesus who the Puritan Thomas Watson said is “the Wonder of Angels; the Joy and Triumph of Saints.” No wonder the angels proclaimed: “I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people; to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah [Christ], the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
Jesus brings joy! The great joy is that Jesus is the Savior, the Messiah who saves us from our sins and brings us salvation. This is the greatest “good news” imaginable! Salvation is just what we need! As Puritan, John Owen put it: “This they say is a matter of great joy, as it was indeed. It is so to every burdened convinced sinner, a matter of unspeakable joy and rejoicing. Oh blessed words! a Saviour is born.
This gives life to a sinner, and opens a door of hope.” So the early church theologian, John Chrysostom referred to Jesus as “a thousand treasuries of joy”!
Is Christ bringing joy to you in these Advent days? Is Jesus Christ to you what Watson said: “All in all; Christ is all fulness, all sweetness; he is all that is imaginable, all that is desirable; he who hath Christ, can have no more, for Christ is all” (Col. 3:11)? Is this who Jesus Christ is to you? Does Jesus Christ bring you this joy of being your Savior from sin? Can we say: “To me to live is Christ, he is the Joy of my Life. If Christ were gone, my Life would be a Death to me”?
Find your Advent joy in Jesus Christ and the message of the angels: “I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.” Christ the Savior is born!
Dr. Donald K. McKim currently lives in Germantown, TN and is an Honorably Retired minister of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Some of his publications include: (with Jim West), Heinrich Bullinger: An Introduction to His Life and Theology (Wipf & Stock, 2022); Everyday Prayer with the Puritans (P&R, 2021); Everyday Prayer with the Reformers (P&R, 2020); Living into Lent, new edition (Westminster John Knox Press, 2020); Everyday Prayer with John Calvin (P&R, 2019). Several of his other articles can also be found at The Presbyterian Outlook https://pres-outlook.org/