From the Pastor's Desk
Jesus was not a Scrooge. His birth brought "good news of great joy," not bad news of a great duty (Lk. 2:10). His purpose statement read, "I came to give life with joy and abundance" (Jn. 10:10). Jesus was happy and wants us to be the same. Holy Spirit has been speaking to me a line from a popular Christmas song, "Let your heart be light." Jesus was accused of much, but He was never described as a grump, sour-puss, or self-centered jerk.
You are promised happiness when you lose the weight, get the date, find the mate, or discover your fate. But only 1/3 of Americans surveyed said they were happy. A cloud of perpetual grayness overshadows 2 out of 3 people. Psychologists determined that recent lottery winners were no happier than recent accident victims. Happy people devote a great amount of time to family and friends.
Standing at the door of happiness to welcome you is Jesus. And he said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). You are not in charge of the weather, the traffic, or the occupant of the White House. But you can bring smiles to a few faces. And who knows? If you brighten your corner of the world, a quiet revolution of joy might break out.
Happiness is not selfish, temporary, superficial, or unbiblical. Happy people enjoy higher odds of a strong marriage, lower divorce rates, and superior work performance. Happiness does not depend on what you hang in your closet, park in your garage, mount on your trophy wall, deposit in your bank account, experience in your bedroom, or serve at your dining table. Reject Scrooge. Embrace the joy Jesus gives!
-Pastors Mark and Jennifer