In the light of Christmas and New Year joyous celebrations, it’s important to ask how we can celebrate and laugh when innocent people are suffering or killed in many places? Christianity is a unique religion of joy. And yet the universal sign of Christianity is, after all, the cross, a symbol of pain, suffering, and cruel death. How does the coming of Christ address this issue?
Christianity begins with Christmas. When Virgin Mary became pregnant with Jesus, the Son of God, who took on humanity, Mary sings: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour. (Luke 1:46-47). When Jesus is born in Bethlehem, the angels came from heaven to the poor shepherds in the fields with the announcement: Behold I bring you good news of a great joy,… for to you is born this day … a Saviour.’ (Luke 2:10-11). Jesus is born out of God’s exuberant joy – God takes pleasure in Him. God brings great joy first of all to the lonely, freezing shepherds in the fields.
That is why today, we still sing joyful hymns all over the world. However, the life of Christ is like a diamond with many facets; after Christmas comes life which includes, Cross and Resurrection. Christ is alive and glorified. All creation celebrates Christ’s resurrection from the dead with joy; now, new creation is assured.
The God who can rejoice can also suffer. God comes seeking, finding and rejoicing because “the lost” belong to Him. Joy is strength for living, and empowerment to love, and takes pleasure in a creative beginning.
It’s our reason to get up in the morning and makes us alive from within. In Christ Jesus, even now we live with joy amid sorrow, knowing it will vanish and look forward to joy never-ending because Jesus is alive. Wishing you a Joyous Christmas and a blessed New Year, 2022!