Did you know that you can trick your brain into happiness? You can, at least according to a recent study, which says that the mere act of smiling can “lift your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and possibly even prolong your life.” I’m not sure if it actually works, but even if it does, there is a much better and more reliable way to smile.
It’s not a smile pasted on your face for no reason, but rather a smile of true joy from within. It is not joy in how wonderful we are or in how we finished all our Christmas shopping ahead of schedule or joy in how everything in our lives is perfect in every way.
It is joy gifted to us by God Himself. The hymnist writes, “Oh, where shall joy be found? Where but on heavenly ground?” (TLH 92:4). It is the joy of God’s eternal love for a world of sinners who deserve to be banished from His sight forever. It is the joy of God’s promise that He would do everything for our salvation, leaving nothing to chance, nothing left incomplete for us to finish. It is the joy of seeing God’s Son lying in a manger and our looking ahead to His saving sacrifice on the cross. It is the joy of the empty tomb and the anticipation of Jesus’ coming again in glory to wipe every tear from our eyes and His joy in seeing our eyes grow big in wonder at the glories of our heavenly home.
With that joy in our hearts by faith, how can we not smile, even through the setbacks and disappointments of earthly life? How can we not reflect that joy in smiles toward others and our eagerness to share the gift of salvation? May that joy of the Lord fill our hearts today, brighten all that lies ahead in our busy schedules, and lead us to look forward to rejoicing with one another tomorrow in the Lord’s house.
Yours in Christ,
Services are at 8:00 and 10:45 a.m. Christmas Eve rehearsal begins at 9:30. The School Support Group meets at 9:45, and the public school confirmation class will meet at 12:15 p.m.