Have you ever noticed the note of joy in our Christmas carols? Joy to the world! O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant! Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies! Good Christian men rejoice, with heart and soul and voice! God rest you merry, gentlemen . . . O tidings of comfort and joy! All of this echoes the words of the angel who came to the shepherds: Glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Joy is more than pleasure or personal satisfaction. It is an emotion that includes both delight and triumph at the victory of what is good, of light over darkness. And so it is the perfect word to describe our feelings at Christmas, when God became man to save us from sin and evil and death. God’s plan is so often quiet and incremental, but here we see a decisive step in our salvation, and so we feel joy. The Christmas season is twelve days long (remember the 12 days of Christmas?). Come and join us in rejoicing at God’s goodness.