“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” ~ Luke 2:10-11

A few days ago I talked about how the word “love” has been overused to the point that it has almost lost any meaning. Joy, on the other hand, still carries a ton of meaning.

I think it’s because the world is stuck on trying to be happy.

“Don’t worry, be happy” we told ourselves a few years back. Then more recently, it was “Clap along if you feel that happiness is the truth”. I don’t hear very many people clapping along these days. Sometimes it feels like happiness leaves us as quickly as a summertime radio hit.

It’s great to be happy, but happiness doesn’t last. Emotions have a funny way of evening out. If you’re feeling giddy right now, you can pretty much count on being in a funk before too long to balance things out.

But joy. That’s a whole other thing entirely. Joy is something that happens when we brush with the transcendent. At a wedding, maybe. Or at the birth of a child. In those moments, we feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves.

Everybody feels joy at the sight of a newborn baby. Maybe that’s why God chose to enter the human story that way. Because he knew that this little baby would cause “great joy for all the people”.

Through Jesus, God has given us much more than a brush with the transcendent. He has extended an invitation to be in a moment-by-moment relationship with Himself. That is the source of true joy. And true joy lasts because God is eternal. It never gets old because he constantly makes all things new.

This Christmas, don’t seek a happiness that fades. Don’t even seek joy for joy’s sake. Seek a relationship with Jesus. Joy will come out of that.

Joy is coming.