Joy can be an emotion, an expression, a state of, or a source of, according to Merriam-Webster.
This was true of the joy I experienced as a boy at Christmas. I would get so excited (emotion) that I couldn’t hardly sleep (expression) on Christmas eve. I was in a heightened state of expectation. The source of my joy was that I knew there would be gifts under the tree for me when I went downstairs on Christmas morning.
Now that I have grown up, I find more joy in giving gifts to the people I love. It is not that I don’t appreciate the things that others may do for me. It’s just more blessed to give than to receive. As a boy, if you would have told me that it would feel better to give than receive, I would have never believed you.
The shepherds in Bethlehem were astonished as a host from heaven proclaimed “Joy to the World.” The greatest gift ever given was being delivered to the world. This gift was from our Heavenly Father, given to everyone, and it creates great joy. In receiving this gift we experience the excitement of our childhood. It is much more than the gifts under the tree at Christmas. As a matter of fact, this gift was the reason for Christmas.
As we enter into this Christmas season, giving and receiving gifts from one another, remember there is “Joy to the World!” It’s an emotional, expressive, state of hope and happiness, that comes from a source; that source is the gift God sent to earth. Receive it so you can give it to those you love. You can not give what you do not have.
These are the truths that we enter into at The Gathering Place every Sunday morning at 10:30 and Wednesday evening at 7.