“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.” Luke 2:10
We can find joy all throughout the Christmas story. In Luke 1:41, when Mary visited her cousin who was pregnant, it says that the baby “leaped in her womb.” In Luke 1:47, we’re told that Mary’s spirit rejoiced in God at the thought of carrying His son. Then in Luke 2:10, the angel told the shepherds, “do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy!” Joy is a keynote in the opening chapters of the birth of Jesus!
Most people would agree that if we are going to have joy, we have to fight for it. It takes planning and preparation, but a little time on the front end can bring a great return in the long run. Here are some practical things we can do to fill our hearts and homes with joy this season.
PREPARE OUR HEARTS
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
While serving at church over the years, I’ve found that often times I was so busy I did not take the time to prepare my heart for this season. Many of us do the same thing: we are always preparing for everyone else – our parents, children, friends, jobs – but neglecting our own hearts. If we aren’t careful to guard our hearts, we can miss out on the real blessings of the season. This year, we can decide to get our hearts aligned with the message of joy by setting aside a few minutes each day to read from the Word of God, reflect on your blessings and pray.
PREPARE OUR CALENDARS
There’s a high risk of over commitment during the Christmas season. Somehow, we manage to squeeze more into this month alone than any other time of year! This can be a challenge to maintaining a joyful heart! In order to avoid falling into this trap, it will take some planning. But ultimately, a little planning will bring peace to you and your family. Leave some space in your calendar for time to just “be” with your friends and family.
No matter what our outward circumstances look like, how heavy our heart is, or how full our calendars may be, if we take the time to plan and prepare, we can maintain a joyful attitude in the midst of all the busyness of the season. The truth is, wherever Jesus went joy showed up. Let’s be more like Him this Christmas!