Good morning everyone:

Have you noticed how much time is spent in “searching” at this time of year? We search through the Sunday ads, online catalogs, and the aisles of the mall for just the right gifts for the people on our list. We dig through closets and garages for lights and other decorations. We page through cookbooks for favorite Christmas recipes.

However, what people are searching for most of all is joy. It’s an elusive thing. Lasting joy is not going to be found in a store or package under the tree. Genuine joy does not come from a recipe or a visit with Santa or some unique holiday experience or activity. It is not going to be found in squeezing as much as you possibly can into your schedule over the next two weeks.

According to some, it’s a matter of will: “I just decided to be joyful.” But true joy can’t be commanded or forced on a person. It’s the response of a grateful, happy heart. There is only one source of real, permanent joy. Paul writes: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4).

People, presents, parties, and our own accomplishments may provide a brief flicker of happiness, but only Jesus, the Light of the world sparks an enduring flame of gratitude in the heart. He alone came with unconditional love for sinners. We don’t have to earn His gifts. We couldn’t even if we tried. He alone came to do everything necessary to free us from fear and death by taking the punishment we deserve upon Himself. He comes still today in His Word assuring us of His continued love and presence in our lives. He promises that He will never leave or forsake us. His plans are to prosper, not to harm us. He tells us that He will soon return and take us home with Him. Though we can’t even see into tomorrow, He tells us not to worry, for nothing can separate us from His love.

Let that Word sink in. Trust that He is speaking to you. Take it to heart, and in Jesus you’ll find JOY. May that joy brighten today as we anticipate receiving more of that joy tomorrow in our services.

The children will rehearse for Christmas Eve at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.

Adult Bible class will meet with Mr. Quade in the activity room at 9:45 a.m.

Yours in Christ,


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