Finding Joy in 2020

 In Children's Ministry, Sara Humphrey

Though probably not the first word that comes to mind for 2020, joy can be found all around us this time of year. The glow of the lights, the smell of freshly baked cookies, a warm mug of cocoa, and the familiar Christmas songs playing nonstop on the radio are all simple pleasures that bring us joy during the holidays. Our holidays may look a bit different this year, but we can still find joy. The following is a post from last year, but it is a good reminder that no matter our circumstances, we can find JOY each day. 

Are you more of a gift-giver, or receiver? Though I genuinely appreciate and enjoy an unexpected gift, I am much more of a giver than I am a receiver. I spend all year listening closely to friends and family for clues that will help me select the “right” gift—not just because it is something they may want or need, but because (in my mind) it shows I listen and care.  It brings me joy to watch them open the gift I have carefully considered and given, hoping they feel the same joy.

As Christmas approaches, we are reminded that no matter how much thought and love we put into our gifts, no gift will ever be perfect. They can be amazing and thoughtful, but not perfect.  There was only one perfect gift ever given, and it is the reason we celebrate Christmas.  Jesus, God’s one and only Son, was the perfect gift given for all. He was born, lived a sinless life, and died for our sins to make us right with God once and for all. On Christmas we celebrate the announcement from the angel declaring, “I bring you good news that will bring great JOY to all the people. The Savior has been born today in Bethlehem.” 

We celebrate this message of great joy during the Christmas season, but it does not need to end on December 26th. Everyday there are opportunities to practice J.O.Y—Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. Spend time each day with Jesus, reading his word and praying with him.  Put the needs of others before your own by doing something for someone else. And by doing the first two, God will richly bless us.

Merry Christmas to all, and may we find JOY in the coming new year!


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