Are you making a joyful noise and excited about Christmas? City sidewalks are dressed in holiday style, lights are blinking and trees glistening, stockings are hung in homes where cookies are baking and children shaking gifts under the trees, stores are packed with people looking for that one last gift, churches are decorated with greens and poinsettias, carolers are sharing good news of a newborn King who sits by His Father’s side, family gatherings are planned just right, and throughout God’s creation the joy of Christmas shines brightly in the night. How can we not make a joyful noise and be excited about Christmas?
I am excited about Christmas throughout the year. Aren’t you? Making a joyful noise is a normal thing for an excited person to do. The Bible gives reason to be joyful. Psalm 100:1 says, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands”
This verse is a command, inspiring us to be joyful by faith. The holidays may have you feeling like Scrooge, filled with songs of bah hum bug instead of joy to the world. You can change your tune by praising God with a happy heart, grateful attitude, and sweet spirit. Dreary, dreadful, defeated songs of holiday despair can be changed into a joyful noise and victory over anything that tries to spoil the real reason we celebrate Christmas.
Reflect on the first Christmas. Recalling the story of Christmas reminds us that Mary and Joseph had every reason to be filled with despair. They were in a strange place with no family and friends to celebrate the birth of their baby boy. They made a joyful noise, moving forward in faith, not fear. Their humble hearts and meager material possessions did not label them poor, for they were rich with gifts and blessings that money could not buy. They celebrated Christmas meagerly and miraculously in a barn with Baby Jesus in a manger. There were shepherds bringing good tidings from afar, wise men bearing gifts, angels singing from on high, and the night sky lit with the bright and glorious star.
Christmas resonates love and looking to our Lord with thankful hearts, making a joyful noise wherever we go and whatever we’re doing…regardless of how we feel. Surely, Mary and Joseph felt worn out and weary in the natural. Yet, they shared their journey together and stuck it out when times were tough. They were filled with joy even when family and friends didn’t understand and support them. A joyful noise has power to supernaturally change holiday blues into good news. Jesus is Lord and King who brings joy to our everything.
Recount your favorite Christmas. Are you remembering a huge table filled with food, piles of crumbled wrapping paper all over the place, people celebrating in one accord, or Christmas mornings when Santa spent all night assembling toys and filling stockings with specials gifts for good girls and boys? Did you and your family pull on coats, pile in the car to ride and look at lights, or head to church for a Christmas Eve service and partake of The Lord’s Supper on that most holy night? Precious memories of Christmases past are everlasting gifts that keep on giving and living inside our hearts.
My heart rewinds to the joyful noises inside our home when Christmas time was near. Tim and I loved everything about Christmas. My mind flashes back to our second Christmas together. On Christmas Eve, we drove Tim’s red car down a dirt path that led to Mr. Dub’s little one room cabin. I can still see puffs of smoke from his fireplace that kept him warm and cooked his food rising in the night sky, his face when we stood in his doorway bearing gifts for a surprised, excited, old man who greeted us wearing overalls, a smile, and tobacco juice clinging to his mouth. He didn’t have a tree, gifts, or anything visible in his humble, one room home that symbolized Christmas. Yet, a miracle of love happened that night too amazing to tell. The three of us experienced God and shared Christmas. Joy settled in our hearts and the sweet spirit of the Lord filled his home. He grinned like a possum and proved to Tim and me it really is better to give than receive. As we drove out of sight, we knew we received more than we gave and came closer to Christ and one another on that Christmas Eve night. The excitement and joy of our special visit were gifts that keep on living in my heart today.
Do precious memories of Christmas fill your heart with joy? Have sadness and burdens of the season overshadowed your joyful noise, spoiling past memories and present opportunities to enjoy the blessings of Christmas? When you become excited about all that God has promised, it releases a spirit of joy that brings strength to overcome seemingly impossible situations. Even if the enemy forms weapons against us, God’s Word declares that it cannot prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)
Close your heart and home to Satan who strives to steal everything you own, even your life. He can’t if you are connected to Christ and stand firm in faith. You can make a choice to rejoice. Do not let Satan spoil Christmas for you and your loved ones. Make happy holiday memories, gifts that become treasures in time. Lose the Scrooge attitude. Get excited and enjoy the present. Make a joyful noise as the bells of Christmas ring…Happy Birthday to Jesus – Lord of Lords and King of Kings.