The Pursuit of...Joy

Govert_Flinck_-_Angels_Announcing_the_Birth_of_Christ_to_the_Shepherds_-_WGA07928.jpg

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord.”  Luke 2:10

 

Ah, Christmas is in the air.  It really is one of the most wonderful times of year.  The lights, the trees, the presents.  Of course, Christmas means so much more than all that.  During this season there seems to be a little more joy being spread around.  Then again, sometimes we try to force joy upon ourselves and others.

The Christian life is full of ordinary things that together work for the extraordinary purpose of glorifying God.  We rejoice in the promises of God and yet at times our hearts are sad.  Even David, the great king of Israel, struggled at times.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When can I go and meet with God?  My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”  These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.  Psalm 42:1-4

Despite the problems we face in this world, we are called to be a people of rejoicing. The Scriptures call us to “rejoice in the Lord always.”

Why so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God!  Psalm 42:5

This Sunday of Advent reminds us that although the world can offer us happiness, and at that, only on occasion, it is only Jesus Christ who can offer us true joy.

 

About the Art:

Angels Announcing the Birth of Christ to the Shepherds by Govert Flinck, 1639.

Govert Flinck was a Dutch painter born January 25, 1615 and died February 2, 1660.  He was a Baroque painter of portraits and one of Rembrandt's most accomplished followers.

 

About the Music:

Avalon, a contemporary Christian music group formed in 1995, is known for their energetic musical arrangements and tight harmonies.  The group released a Christmas recording, Joy: A Christmas Collection, in 2000.

Good News lyrics:

Good news, good news
An angel brings good news
Good news, good news
I meet you with good news

Close your eyes fold your hands
For a moment let your sorrow fade
Why? Oh, why are you afraid?
Has this world stripped you of your faith?

Close your eyes and on bended knee
Listen to an angel pray
And once again prepare the way
So you'll see a gift that's given
For you a time of joy, behold a baby boy

Bow your head, speak not a word
Let the silence take you far from here
The spirit of a child dry every tear
And may your doubts, they disappear

Bow your head and on bended knee
Hear the story once again
The child grew up to wear a cross
A child grew up to pledge a life
For us a time of joy, behold, Christ a baby boy

For us is born this night
In a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes
Christ the Savior, Christmas day
All our burdens washed away

We break the bread
We pour the wine
And angels descend
With a heavenly sigh