My kids were filled with fascination and wonder this past weekend as we took in the sights, sounds and smells of New York City. Around every corner was something new for their senses to take in and respond to. My daughter’s personalities shined through as one of them couldn’t get enough of the hustle and bustle of the city and the other felt overwhelmed very quickly.
One thing that everyone, including Phillip and I, were enamored with were the Rockettes. Wow. It was incredible. Watching how the dancers were in perfect unity together at all times was mesmerizing. The dancers, the stage, the orchestra, the lights, the singing, the props and costumes all made for an amazing show that I will forever be grateful that I was able to see. But one thing stuck out more than the rest…
Watching my children on the edge of their seats, taking in every moment with awe and wonder.
It was priceless.
My brother, his wife, Phillip and myself all commented later that we all had looked down the aisle at our children’s smiling faces and were overcome with emotions of thankfulness as tears filled our eyes. What a privilege.
Although every single part of the Rockettes was incredible, my favorite part was when they shared about the first Christmas, the birth of Christ.
There was glitz and glam in the rest of the show, and there certainly was glitz and glam in the Biblical part as well, but what was different was the implication it meant for us, humanity.
Santa, presents, an ice skating rink, toy soldiers, a city bus, a dancing bear all was incredible to watch, but it pales in comparison to Jesus.
Jesus, who was seated on High with the Father, being the very nature of God, made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant became a human to be born on this earth in a dirty stable to peasant parents so that he could forever change the world.
Jesus, the second member of the trinity, became human so that his light would shine into the darkness of our world.
Jesus, God’s son, became human, knowing that he would suffer on our behalf, but also knowing that he was the only true source of joy, hope, peace and love.
We may have all the glitz and glam of this world and we may be happy, but if we do not know Jesus, we are starving ourselves of pure and perfect joy.
So what is the joy that comes from Jesus?
It is similar to the feeling I felt when I saw my children watching intently at the Rockettes, but it is different because while that was a momentary happiness, joy from Jesus stays.
And it doesn’t dissipate when life gets messy.
We can will ourselves into happiness. We cannot will ourselves into joy.
Joy lies deep within your soul.
Joy comes as a result of believing and knowing who Jesus is and that what he says is true. Joy comes when you recognize the enormity of what Jesus did for you personally. Joy comes when you acknowledge the darkness of your soul but you see that Jesus has pierced it with his light. Joy comes when you see that there is no condemnation for you because of Christ. Joy comes when you fully embrace your new name, his child.
Joy in Christ grows as we walk in obedience to Him. Joy in Christ snowballs as we see his sanctifying work being done within us. Joy in Christ cannot be taken away from us.
If you are a believer in Jesus, joy is within you because Jesus Christ is within you.
Jesus Christ is Joy.
I encourage you to take a deep breath and let his name wash over you. What do you feel when you say his name? What fills your heart?
Our hope is Christ.
Our peace is Christ.
Our joy is Christ.
Joy is Christ.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
God, thank you for the joy that is within us that comes from a life with you.