Reflecting the Wise Men's Joy
This post is in our Simply Trusting God Through the Christmas Story devotional. Click here to learn more about and to begin this email series!
I just love this Christmas season. I love the wonder of the Christmas lights, the scent of cinnamon, the magic and peace of a good snowfall, and the joy that seems to course through the veins of our culture. Christmas is a time of expectation. Have you noticed that?
Our culture expects amazing gifts under the tree, a piping hot cup of cocoa, great shopping deals, and a coziness that is only really felt at Christmastime.
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Expectation isn't far away from the Christmas story. In fact, it's right there, plain as day, in the middle of it. The long-awaited Messiah is born and there are wise men who come seeking, searching, and expecting to find the King. And when they find the King, oh the rejoicing!
Would you expect anything less than rejoicing? Would you expect anything less than great joy from the wise men? Their journey was long, some theologians even speculate that their journey was around 1,000 miles!
"When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy." - Matthew 2:10 ESV
Here's what's so exciting. That word "joy" translates to "chara" which means:
Awareness of God's Grace
Joy because of Grace
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I love all of these different wordings of the definition. But the thing I love even more is that this word for joy is also the same word used in Galatians 5:22, which is part of the Fruits of the Spirit list. So if you want to see Galatians 5:22's joy in action, look no further than the wise men.
They recognized grace. They had joy because of God's great grace.
Imagine that you've gone back in time and you're standing there with the wise men, looking straight at Jesus, God with us. Undeserved favor lays before you in a manger.
I think of this scene and how completely undeserving I am that God extends to me such a grace. Love lays there in that manger. Love of the Father, who sent His only Son to die on a cross for you and me. That nativity scene that we see during the Christmas season was just the start of this plan of redemption.
When you think about the Christmas story, do you think about incredible joy? Do you recognize God's grace?