What would make you happy this Christmas?
What if I told you that you won a contest and someone was going to do all your holiday cooking, cleaning, decorating, shopping and wrapping? What if I promised you would get the present of your dreams (like that car with the bow on top in the commercial)? Or what if I predicted that family rifts would be mended, or that this year’s Christmas memories would be the best ever?
The fact is, all these things (if they actually happened) might bring us a measure of temporary happiness. But they wouldn’t sustain us through a year’s worth of hardship and trouble. We know this. Yet every year, we place a losing bet on the world to supply a truly joyful holiday season.
But what if I told you that you could have a joyful Christmas, guaranteed? And what’s more, that you could experience that joy year-round? And what if I wasn’t kidding this time?
This week we’re going to offer five keys to joy this holiday season. No, we aren’t going to do your Christmas shopping for you. But we hope these thoughts will serve you more than that.
The first key to a joyful Christmas? Contemplate the incarnation.
Consider the staggeringly glorious news that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). Ponder this truth every day for the next twenty-two days, and you won’t be disappointed the day after Christmas.
Here are two simple ways to contemplate the wonder of God become man this season:
Read Chapter Five, “God Incarnate” from JI Packer’s classic Knowing God. I’ve taken to reading this chapter every Christmas, and it never fails to help redirect my gaze from worldly pleasures to eternal truth. As Dr. Packer writes:
“The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity—hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory—because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later he might hang on a cross. It is the most wonderful message that the world has ever heard, or will hear.”
Purchase and listen to the Sovereign Grace Christmas album, Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man. While not traditional Christmas tunes, these beautiful songs are full of the wonderful truths of the incarnation:
God has sent His greatest treasure
Shown His love in greatest measure
Sending Christ to bleed and suffer
Purchasing our joy forever
Let the earth rejoice!
Instead of looking to the world to give us joy this Christmas, let’s focus on the one who came to earth and bore our sins, purchasing our joy forever!