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Christmas JOY! (Part 1)

Christmas Special reading time: about a minute! Joy comes when the Spirit causes us to see His handiwork.  Joy is what sustains us through times of anxiety, stress and extra effort, like the busy Christmas season. Joy is all around you.  I’m praying that if you yourself are not slowing down a couple times a day to enjoy the fruit of the Spirit which is JOY, the Lord Himself will smack you in the chops with a display of His presence that will make you stop and say, “Jesus did that.” Just to help you tune your antenna to the joy causing displays of grace that are lurking around, waiting to be recognized, I’ll mention a few of the little joy triggers I was fortunate enough to see as a parish pastor for thirty years.  The little things. Here’s a short list.  Which did I miss? Someone shows up that you’ve only seen twice since Easter.  Or once.  Joy happens. A child in your classroom says, “Teacher, the real meaning of Christmas is…” and just nails it.  Joy happens. Church decorations.  Better than that, church decorators who show up to honor the Child with their humble act of service.  Joy happens. Choir anthem.  A little off key.  You get a moment to sit in the service and worship.  The choir members’ joy spills over the balcony.  Jesus did that.  Joy happens. A plate of cookies for you.  You don’t need them and they’re not very good, but they’re given in love.  Joy happens. You lock the door after the late service, all alone.  A snowflake in the moonlight.  (Or a twinkling star shining through a palm tree).  An angel is there for you.  Joy happens. Work hard.  Share the good news.  Find the joy. Thanks for reading.  You’re in my prayers.