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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

December 12, 2011 - Christmas Joy

By William E. Richardson

Christmas is a time for happiness. Children relish the vacation from school and the presence of snow. Adults experience it opening cards and letters from family and friends. All ages share the happy moments of holiday gatherings and of giving and receiving gifts.

The three-letter word “joy” is even more fitting for the season. It rings out as a major theme in our traditional carols. Its meaning in those songs looms much larger than any of the happy times I’ve just mentioned.

The chorus of “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” resounds with joy. It repeats the phrase, “tidings of comfort and joy.” The first verse explains why those words are yoked together: Jesus came “to save us all from Satan’s power.”

Something similar occurs in “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” The line, “Joyful, all ye nations rise,” is preceded by the words, “God and sinners reconciled.” There’s no greater joy than knowing God has forgiven your sins.

“If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:3-5, NIV).

“Joy to the World” begins with, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her king.” You can’t mistake the elation over the Baby in the manger who was also the King of kings. The song says, “Let every heart prepare Him room.” Yes, Jesus came to make human hearts His throne on earth.

Christmas exudes happiness with children performing in school and church programs and playing in the snow, with families decorating trees, wrapping presents, unwrapping presents and indulging in holiday treats. But joy — so much deeper and longer lasting than fleeting pleasures — is based on our relationship with Jesus, the Savior we celebrate year-round.

May your joy abound this Christmas, based on the greatest package you’ve ever unwrapped — the acceptance of Jesus’ death for your sins. While sharing lesser gifts this season, is there anyone on your list you can point toward true Christmas joy?

— William E. Richardson is senior pastor of Afton (Iowa) Assembly of God.




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