Joy to the World

This Christmas eve, the thing that is on my mind is on everyone’s mind – the thing we all do, joyfully, happily, merrily, in one way or another, is celebrate. Our homes are ready for it, our minds are set to it, and our hearts are “keyed” to joy. And it is an interesting how you can know a thing your whole life, or do a thing your whole life, and still not necessarily be fully connected to its meaning. Life is a little like that in general – we go about our daily lives, and we do the things we do, but we’re not always connecting the dots to the deeper reasons of why we do the individual pieces. It’s alright, of course, because it is how we learn. “Doing the thing,” when done from the heart, naturally leads in to knowledge and meaning, and as we go through life things open up to us more and more.
So I want to remember why – I want to remind myself again of why we make merry; why we decorate, feast, celebrate, exchange cards and gifts. We are not just obediently falling into line, because our calendars announce that “‘Tis the season;” ready, set go. A simple date on calendar could not drum up all the excitement and merriment of Christmas, just as a party for the sake of “Party!” will never have the same beauty and romance of a wedding. There is a deeper truth and meaning embedded within these celebrations that is so good, so true and so beautiful that it spills out and over the edges, and fills our very hearts and souls with their beauty. And Christmas is the merriest one of all. Not just because we want to party, not just because we like to receive presents. That is all good and well, but as the old lady said, it is not the same. The reason we celebrate, the reason why we make merry, or feast, or exchange gifts is because we have good news, and a real reason to bring deepest joy into our hearts.
The reason is what has been called the Gospel, or The Good News. And the good news is this: that God himself loves us, and that He is the father of our hearts and souls. Secondly, that He is working to help us – what we celebrate at Christmas, or the Mass of Christ is the birth of a Savior. God has sent us His Christ, which is to say, a Messiah; the promised savior of humankind. Help is come, and we are not alone. If help is come, then it also implies that there is a good meaning and a real and true purpose to this life. That there is something beautiful and shining and very good to look forward to; in this life and also in the life to come. It also means that the best is yet to come. And that suggests that we can get through the difficulties and challenges of our our daily lives, for the knowledge that our tomorrow will be shining, and filled with joy. At Christmas we celebrate that Salvation has come down into our world, and that the salvation of our own souls, of all humanity, and of the whole world has begun. Now that he has come, a magic has entered world, and things have begun to go right. Although we have been under the harsh cold of winter because of sin and the fall, the antidote or “good infection” has begun, and the end of this winter of our souls is around the corner. There is a new life beginning to grow within us and bud; the spring is coming! This hope of our salvation and of The world gone right is what makes it all magical, and what makes it beautiful. It is what puts a song in our hearts and brings us this feasting and rejoicing, this gift giving, and music, and beauty and true joy of the season.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:16, 17

 

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Songwriters: G. F. Handel / Isaac Watts
I’m sitting with Bear surrounded by ice and snow,
His eye is on a distant star; so let mine be also.
~Beth 🌸