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Dear Church, 
 
The angel declared the birth of Jesus to the Shepherds watching their flock by night as, “Good news of great joy for all people.” Does joy mean feeling happy all the time? Even for those who are naturally upbeat and bubbling, that’s not possible. Joy is that settled assurance that the Holy Spirit brings in our life, the quiet confidence that everything is going to be alright because God has it covered. In 1719, English hymn writer Isaac Watts wrote a song based on Psalm 98:4-9 titled, “Joy to the world”.  This is the most published Christmas song in America and what people don’t know about this song is that Watts didn’t write this as a Christmas carol, as very evident from the lyrics, but rather he wrote it as a song depicting the second coming of Christ.
 
The good news of great Joy announced to the world at the birth of Jesus still remains as the good news of great Joy that we hold on to in anticipation of the second advent of our Messiah. As the lyrics of the song reminds us.
 
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

 
This is the source of our joy – he comes to make his blessings flow, far as the curse is found. This is what should take hold of our advent season, we look back at the coming of our savior so that we could look ahead in joyful expectation of our Messiah’s second advent.  As Psalm 30:5 reminds us, “weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.  Realize that morning doesn’t happen when the sun comes up and it reads AM on your bedside clock. Morning comes when you wake up, when you open your eyes to God’s goodness and his presence through your prayer and being in His word. This is the morning that ushers joy.  His presence is our Joy, His absence is our sorrow.
 
 
Be Encouraged,
Mathews

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