Unspeakable Joy

Unspeakable Joy

 So what are the things that overshadow the true meaning of Christmas for you?  As a kid, I am sure the gifts under the tree started to overshadow Jesus at times.  The rush of getting things purchased and wrapped and making Christmas plans and writing Christmas letters, all at times seem to overshadow the joy and excitement we should have for the Christ child being born into this world.

Herod allowed power to overshadow the birth of Jesus by making an edict that all Israelite baby boys two years and under would have to be put to death in order to make sure there would be no King of the Jews besides him (Matthew 2).  That’s a sneak peek of what we will discuss this Sunday.
It wasn’t at the birth of Christ, but the rich young ruler we read about in the Bible allowed money to overshadow Jesus in his life by being unwilling to give it up to follow Jesus (Mark 10Matthew 19).  Peter allowed his safety and security to overshadow his relationship with Jesus as he denied knowing Jesus three times (Luke 22Matthew 26).  David allowed his desires of the flesh and pride to overshadow his relationship with God when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and when he counted his fighting men (2 Samuel 11 and 24).

What do you allow to overshadow Christ at Christmas and every day as you walk through life?  Is it stuff, addictions, fear, comfort, pride?  I know it doesn’t seem like a very uplifting message as much as it sounds like a guilt-ridden one.  But, the goal I have during our sermon series is to help us all find more joy this Christmas by giving our whole selves to Jesus.  As we surrender everything we have to Him and allow the “power of the most high” to overshadow us, joy takes on new meaning in our life.

I find it challenging when I get a phone call from a family wanting help to provide Christmas for their kids.  What I want for all of the families of Kalkaska and around the world is for them to provide Jesus for their kids every day.  Then, at Christmas, toys or not, the greatest gift in the world will have been unwrapped in their homes and joy will not be able to be contained.

Sunday we sang “Joy to the World.”  We sang the Chris Tomlin version in which this bridge was added, “Joy, unspeakable joy, an overflowing well, no tongue can tell.  Joy, unspeakable joy, rises in my soul, never lets me go.”  May the joy we experience this Christmas be found in the shadow of the power of the most high