Joy is being free. Why? Because Jesus came to set us free. Free from what? Free from sin and death.
Just like Moses was sent to Egypt to set the nation of Israel free from Egyptian slavery, Jesus was sent to set all people free from the slavery of sin.
Jesus means "The Lord saves." The angel said to Joseph, "She (Mary) will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21
How does that happen? First, somebody has to take the punishment for sin. Jesus did that on the cross where he died for my sin and yours. As a result, God the Father can now show mercy and forgive sinners who bank on what Jesus did on the cross for them. When I accept the infinitely gracious act of Jesus' death in my place, I become a child of God. I receive forgiveness and lose guilt. I am set free from sin and death!
And that's why we celebrate Christmas. Because the baby who was born to die came down. God himself putting on flesh; the Creator mingling among his creation to share this message of hope that leads to joy that changes everything.
May we embrace this joy and become ambassadors of joy to all people.
"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11