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Almost Christmas

Joy: Almost. Not Quite Yet. Working On It.

Luke 1:5-8

During the rule of King Herod of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah. His wife Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron. They were both righteous before God, blameless in their observance of all the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to become pregnant and they both were very old. One day Zechariah was serving as a priest before God because his priestly division was on duty.

Luke 1:11-14

 An angel from the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw the angel, he was startled and overcome with fear.

13 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah. Your prayers have been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will give birth to your son and you must name him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many people will rejoice at his birth,

Luke 1:57-66

When the time came for Elizabeth to have her child, she gave birth to a boy. 58 Her neighbors and relatives celebrated with her because they had heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy. 59 On the eighth day, it came time to circumcise the child. They wanted to name him Zechariah because that was his father’s name. 60 But his mother replied, “No, his name will be John.”

61 They said to her, “None of your relatives have that name.” 62 Then they began gesturing to his father to see what he wanted to call him.

63 After asking for a tablet, he surprised everyone by writing, “His name is John.” 64 At that moment, Zechariah was able to speak again, and he began praising God.

65 All their neighbors were filled with awe, and everyone throughout the Judean highlands talked about what had happened. 66 All who heard about this considered it carefully. They said, “What then will this child be?” Indeed, the Lord’s power was with him.


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The angel announces to Zechariah that he and his wife Elizabeth will have a son and they are to name him John – and he will be a joy to people and people will rejoice. John means “God is gracious” or simply “grace.”

Naming the child John is outside the societal practice of naming the child after the father or at least a relative. The child is to be a joy and delight and Zechariah praises God.

Grace comes outside of expectations. It comes as a surprise and ity comes to bring joy and delight into our life. The response to grace is joy and praise.

The gift to become: Go outside the norm and surprise someone with an expression of grace.

Memory Verse:            Luke 2:10-11
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. 11 Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.
Reflect On:
1)  What are the distinctions between happiness and joy?
2)  How can you open yourself more fully to receiving God’s joy?

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