Are You Missing the Joy of the Season?

joyIf you are wondering where to find joy if you don’t have all the Christmas activities, Laura reminds us joy is a gift we only must receive

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” (Luke 2:16-20)

Joy to the world the Lord has come,
Let earth receives its King.
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing, and Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven and nature sing.

Such beautiful worlds we sing to proclaim the birth of our savior! What an amazing time of year to be reminded of the birth of this beautiful baby Jesus, who provides us with everlasting life in heaven!

Sometimes it is difficult to feel the joy of Christmas. Perhaps chronic illness, depression, or grief has taken over our lives and regardless of what we do nothing rids us our feelings of dread. We can still immerse ourselves, however, in the beautiful story of Joseph and Mary setting out for Bethlehem where Mary gives birth to the baby Jesus in a stable–because there is no room in the inn.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns.
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

The magic of Christmas does not live in the presents, the tree, or the festivities. It lies in the miracle of Jesus. Our hearts are challenged this time of year to be opened to the love that Jesus provides. We in turn can share that love with others. This can be as simple as sharing our talents, listening to someone or making sure to smile.

They say it takes less muscles to smile than frown; perhaps this is just a simple step we can take this Christmas season to be more Christlike; to spread joy throughout the world. One simple act of kindness can have a ripple effect in our world.

Joy to the world, the Lord has indeed come.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you for allowing us to come together as Christians to celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. Help us to open our hearts to the joy of the season and spread our love to others. Amen.

About the author:
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband and three children. She is a retired elementary school counselor who discovered her love of writing about 35 years ago. Laura is the disability/chronic illness advocate for her church and also enjoys running a HopeKeepers group. She is writing a book about her illness, dysautonomia: the deregulation of the autonomic nervous system. She had a pacemaker implanted in October 2013 as a result of dysautonomia slowing her heart rate.

How do you spread joy at Christmas time?

Are you feeling festive? Wanting to smile and spread some good cheer? Tired of all the posts among those who are ill who are depressed and frustrated? You aren’t alone! We need some JOY, right? Sing along with Toby Mac as he sings an upbeat tune, “Christmas This Year.” It’s okay to smile–really. We have a lot of reasons to rejoice and it’s okay if we act like we are 10 years old and not so serious about life. -Lisa

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