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#MWC E2.4

Continuing with our Advent theme, today’s Midweek Worship Connection unpacks JOY.

It’s Christmas! This is a song that I wrote with my buddy, Rocky Favia, Jr. We recorded it for the If We CD, If We “One”.

It’s Christmas! (written by Rocky Favia, Jr. | Jeff Polen)

Jesus, the Lord has come
Immanuel, God with us
The virgin has bore a Son
The Savior of the world has come… it’s Christmas!

Come celebrate the King of kings, Jesus
Come elevate your voice and sing with us… it’s Christmas!

Come see what the Lord has done
A star hangs over Bethlehem
Angels and Shepherds, come
See what the Lord has done… it’s Christmas!

Come celebrate the King of kings, Jesus
Come elevate your voice and sing with us…

Sing, “Glory in the highest, peace on earth, good will to men!”
His favor rests on all of those who find their hope in Him… this Christmas

Jesus, the Lord has come
God’s one and only Son
Born to bear our cross
The Savior of the world has come… it’s Christmas!

Come celebrate the King of kings, Jesus
Come elevate your voice and sing with us…

Sing, “Glory in the highest, peace on earth, good will to men!”
His favor rests on all of those who find their hope in Him
Sing, “Glory in the highest, peace on earth, good will to men!”
His favor rests on all of those who find their hope in Him

Come celebrate the King of kings, Jesus
Come elevate your voice and sing with us… it’s Christmas!

* * *

Welcome back to the Midweek Worship Connection. We are currently in the season of Advent.

Last week we looked at our first word for this season, which was hope. I hope that you were able to live a more hopeful life this past week. Now, this week we want to add to our hope, joy.

Let’s turn in our Bibles to the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, verse 10.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. – Luke 2:10, ESV

The shepherds out in the field (who were keeping watch over their flock by night) went through quite a range of emotions on that first Christmas! Though scripture doesn’t speak directly into their initial state, I can’t help but imagine that it was business as usual for them -probably nothing overly inspiring. They were likely just doing their job.

Sheep. Fields. Night. Same as always.

Do you ever feel that way? Just stuck in the routine of daily life?

I don’t get an overwhelming sense of joy when I read about the shepherds in Luke 2:8. In fact, the first emotion that we see describing them is fear!

…an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. -Luke 2:9, ESV

Something absolutely amazing had just happened in the town just next to them, but they were oblivious. How many times do we miss the amazing thing that God is doing right next to us?

Now, suddenly, as they come face to face with an angel of the Lord, they are filled with great fear. Thankfully, the fear didn’t last long.

… the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. -Luke 2:10, ESV

What is this good news of great joy?

… unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. -Luke 2:11, ESV

What a message! Fear quickly faded away as they realized they were not far from Bethlehem, the city of David. Quickly they made their way to Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus lying in a manger. They wasted no time passing this great message on.

And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. -Luke 2:17, ESV

What a day! These faithful shepherds had gone from mundane every day life, to being filled with fear, to excitedly making their way to see the baby Jesus for themselves, to being #Gospelizers! These shepherds were potentially the first humans to share the good news of great joy -that the Savior of the world had come!

So how did this first Christmas end for the shepherds?

… the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. -Luke 2:20, ESV

That sounds pretty joyful to me! When we first encounter these shepherds, it is business as usual. Now they are glorifying and praising God!

This Christmas, perhaps you are living in the lull of mundane everyday life. Perhaps you have found yourself filled with fear. What is it that will bring you great joy this Advent season (and every day, for that matter)?

I would propose a two-step process for experiencing great joy:

Step one, make haste to see Jesus for yourself. Don’t take someone’s word for it -even if that word comes from an angel of the Lord. Go and see the Savior for yourself! The shepherds did, and it made all of the difference! See Jesus for yourself!

Step two, #Gospelize. The good news of great joy is for ALL of the people! Like the shepherds, we have received this good news. Like the shepherds, we are called to make known this great news. In doing so we really will experience the supernatural joy of the LORD!

I love this quote from the great Charles Spurgeon:

“The Lord grant that the whole of us may feel the influence of the gospel. I contend for this, that to gospelize a man is the greatest miracle in the world.” -Charles Spurgeon

This Advent season leading up to Christmas morning, let us be a hopeful people full of joy!

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#MWC (Season 2)

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