Season of Joy

The Christmas season has always been such a joyful time in my life. I love the lights, the food, and the festive cheer. It is also a slow season for families, with school winding down and people taking time off work. My prayer for you is that this is a time of rest as we prepare for a new year. I also know this time of the year can be difficult, with the holiday looking different than it has before with different places we used to visit and the people we used to spend it with. My prayer for you is that this is a season of peace. My greatest desire is that this year we encounter Jesus in a way that gives us immeasurable joy. We take this time each year to celebrate His birth, which has brought the possibility of more joy than we could ever imagine.

Sometimes I think about Mary and Joseph looking at the face of their new son, and how much joy that must have brought them. Claira and I feel like we have experienced that same joy with Ezra (and now we can imagine that a little more after last Sunday!) and what a blessing he has been to us. Jesus, though, was more than a blessing to Mary and Joseph, He is a blessing to the world and everyone in it. Think about John the Baptist’s first encounter with Mary after she found out that she would bear the savior and name Him Jesus. John got so excited that he leaped, even inside the womb (Luke 1:41)! Imagine the joy that James and John, the sons of Zebedee, and Simon Peter had when they realized the man shouting at them from the shore giving them fishing instructions was Jesus the Messiah (Luke 5:4). Zacchaeus the tax collector climbed a tree just to meet Jesus for the first time (Luke 19:3). I pray this is a time filled with joy for you, because of who Jesus is. How are we seeking Him this Christmas season, and who in our lives do we need to introduce to Him?