How Should We Celebrate Christmas? 'Worship'!
SUBJECT: "HOW SHOULD WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS? 'WORSHIP'!"
SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:8-15; Matthew 2:9-11
TEXT: "The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told." (Luke 2:20)
"On coming to the house, they (the wise men) saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him." (Matthew 2:l1 a)
INTRODUCTION: Jesus is worthy for many reasons. Because of who He is and because of what He can do! He is declared, in those several Christmas-related Scriptures, to be the Saviour, the Lord, the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Reconciler, the Light of Hearts, the Source of Joy and Salvation.
PROPOSITION: As one considers the various responses of the various persons surrounding the Christ Child – the shepherds, the Wise Men, Simeon, Anna-there is 'common denominator' in their response. All in their various ways responded in worship of the Babe of Bethlehem.
What was the greatest of all of God's acts? God's act of becoming a Man!
O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!
SUBJECT: "How Should We Celebrate Christmas? 'Worship'!"
SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:8-15; Matthew 2:9-11
TEXT: "The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen which were just as they had been told." (Luke 2:20)
"On coming to the house, they (the wise men) saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him." (Matthew 2:11 a)
INTRODUCTION: What does it mean to worship God? To worship God is to declare God's worth. The angel declared the worth of Jesus when he declared to the shepherds: "Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11) The kings from the East followed the star to Bethlehem, and they went into the house and saw the Christ Child before whom they bowed down and worshiped. They recognized Jesus as the 'King of the Jews' (Matthew 2:2, Matthew 2:11). Simeon recognized Jesus as God's instrument of salvation, God's light from heaven as a gift, not only to Jews, but also to Gentiles (Luke 2:29-32). To Anna, the elderly prophetess, Jesus was the One whom she and all of Israel had anticipated – the long-awaited-for Messiah (Luke 2:38).
Jesus is worthy for many reasons. Because of who He is and because of what He can do! He is declared, in those several Christmas-related Scriptures, to be the Saviour, the Lord, the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Reconciler, the Light of Hearts, the Source of Joy and Salvation.
It was appropriate that the shepherds, and the Wise Men from the East, and Simeon and Anna should all respond in worship of the newborn babe – the Babe of Bethlehem.
How should we celebrate Christmas? Like the shepherds, we too should (1) Witness, (2) Wonder, (3) Worship.
"Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be all glory given; Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing; O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord!"
PROPOSITION: As one considers the various responses of the various persons surrounding the Christ Child – the shepherds, the Wise Men, Simeon, Anna – there is a 'common denominator' in their response. All in their various ways responded in worship of the Babe of Bethlehem. From these worshipers, we may learn better the meaning of true worship.
We must look at: (1) The Basis of Worship, (2) The Response of Worship, (3) The Goal of Worship, (4) The Benefits of Worship. What was the greatest of all of God's acts? God's act of becoming a Man!
I. The Basis Of Worship – Recognition Of Jesus' Identity.
But the angels reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born tonight in Bethlehem! How will you recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger!" Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven." they sang, "and peace on earth for all those pleasing him." (Luke 2:10-14)
Someone rightly pointed out that all persons are incurably 'religious'. In other words, everyone everywhere worships someone or something. However, the object of one's worship determines the value of one's worship!
Why did the shepherds (in Luke 2:10-14) worship Jesus? Because God revealed to them, through the angels, that Jesus was unique and special and worthy of worship!
The basis of true worship is recognition of Jesus' identity. When people, like the shepherds, are shown who Jesus really is, they are instinctively drawn to Jesus and find themselves on their faces before Him.
The great Napoleon once said, "If Socrates would enter the room we should rise and do him honor. But if Jesus Christ came into the room we should fall down on our knees and worship Him!" (Shoe-Leather Faith; No. 138).
Said the angel to the shepherds, "Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11)
Why is Jesus worthy of worship? Because He is the Savior, i.e., He came to seek and to save the lost! There is no one more worthy of praise and worship than Jesus, for Jesus gives hope for the despairing, life for the dying, forgiveness for the guilty, joy for the sorrowing, friendship for the lonely. He is everything that your soul ever hoped for – the Bread of life, the Water of life, the Way of life, the Truth of life!
Jesus said, "I have come not to condemn, but to save!" "I have come that ye might have life, and might have it more abundantly!" "I have come to seek and to save the lost!"
In announcing the birth of Jesus to Joseph, the angel said to Joseph, "She 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)
Why is Jesus worthy of worship? Because Jesus alone provides a means by which sinful men can become reconciled to God. After the one angel announced to the shepherds that a Savior had been born in Bethlehem, "a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'" (Luke 2:13-14)
It is not the condemnation of God that rests on mankind, but it is the peace and favor of God that rests on mankind! God is for, not against, the human race! It is not strict justice, but it is loving mercy, which God is ready to offer to a lost race of sinners!
Wrote William Tyndale (1494-1536),
"Now, do you see what this means? All men in jail to sin, All men wounded by death all men overcome by the devil, - all such men are, neither by merit nor because they deserve it, loosed! made right! restored to life! saved! given their freedom! brought into God's favor! put in harmony with God!
All that is great news, and as many as believe it, sing, praise, and thank God - well! they just can't help but be glad, sing, dance for joy.
II. The Response Of Worship – Surrender To Jesus' Person (Matthew 2:11)
"Entering the house where the baby and Mary his mother were, they threw themselves down before him, worshiping. Then they opened their presents and gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh." (Matthew 2:11)
The essence of true worship is self-surrender, i.e., presentation of ourselves to God.
The wise men "bowed down and worshiped him." Each gift that was presented to Jesus, recognized the purpose of His mission, which in turn calls for a proper response to the Christ.
A. Frankincense is the gift for a priest (Jesus is Priest)
When a gift of frankincense was given to Jesus, this symbolically identified Jesus as a Priest. Priests of the Old Testament presided over the Temple sacrifices, and "it was in the Temple worship and at the Temple sacrifices that the sweet perfume of frankincense was used." (Barclay's Matthew, pg. 23)
It was the work of the Old Testament priests to act as representatives of God to man, and to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. The Old Testament priesthood was imperfect and unable to remove the guilt of sin. "But in those (Old Testament) sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." (Hebrews 10:3-4)
Christ came to be the Perfect High Priest, of which the gift of frankincense was but a symbol. "The Latin word for priest is pontifex, which means a bridge-builder. The Priest is the man who builds a bridge between man and God. That is what Jesus did. He opened the way to the presence of God; He made it possible for men to enter into the very presence of God." (Barclay's Matthew, pg. 23)
In the Old Testament the common man was barred from personal access to God. It was the High Priest's responsibility to intercede in behalf of the people. On the day of Atonement the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies, the place in the Temple where it was held that God's presence dwelt. Jesus, the Perfect High Priest, became a bridge to God by which man can personally encounter God. The veil of the Temple was rent in two, symbolizing man's personal access to God.
Frankincense is the gift for a Priest. Christ came to be the Perfect High Priest, of which the gift of frankincense was but a symbol. Jesus, the perfect High Priest, became a bridge to God by which man can personally encounter God. Christ, as 'Bridge-builder' (i.e., Priest) provides a means by which the sinner can have access to God. The great' gulf of sin' has been bridged by Christ. Wrote Paul, "This is good and pleases God our Savior, for he longs for all to be
saved and to understand this truth: That God is on one side and all the people on the other side, and Christ Jesus, himself man, is between them to bring them together, by giving his life for all mankind." (1 Timothy 2:3-5, Living Bible)
Properly to respond to Christ, is to recognize Him as my Priest, and boldly (though humbly) to come to Christ to become reconciled to Almighty God. My sins no longer need bar me from God! I no longer need feel isolated, alone, and separated from God!
If Jesus is High Priest, how should I respond to Him? As a sinner, I should cross the bridge and reestablish that sweet fellowship with Jesus which sin destroyed. I should 'come home' to Jesus!
"Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, Calling for you and for me; See, on the portals He's waiting and watching, Watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home, Ye who are weary, come home; Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, Calling, O sinner, come home!"
As a believer, I can come boldly to the throne of grace, because of my High Priest!
B. Myrrh is the gift for one who is to die (Jesus is Saviour)
In the opening account of Matthew's Gospel, the purpose of Christ's coming is defined. "She (Mary) will bear a son, and you must call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21, Barclay) Jesus is both the Perfect High Priest and the Perfect Sacrifice for sin. "And if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a burnt heifer were, when sprinkled on the unholy, sufficient to make the body pure, then how much more will the blood of Christ himself, who in his eternal spirit offered himself to God as the perfect sacrifice, purify our souls from the deeds of death, that we may serve the living God!" (Hebrews 9:13-14) "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that comes unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25) "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8:12)
Christ died for the sins of the world. The gift of myrrh symbolized Christ's death. To stop with the Babe of Bethlehem, without considering the Christ of
the Cross, is to miss the meaning of the Incarnation. Christ was born into the world to transform individuals, to make bad men good.
Myrrh is the gift for one who is to die. The gift of myrrh symbolized Christ's death, His Saviourhood.
Properly to respond to Christ means that I affirm the fact and accept the reality that Jesus has died for my sins. His death spells life for me! His suffering spells healing for me! He shed his blood in my place. This means that I cannot merit His forgiveness; I can only humbly receive it as a free gift of His grace. I am not worthy of the least of His favor, but He nevertheless accepts me and forgives me. Such love 'demands' that I give him the praise and worship of my total being!
"My sin - O the bliss of that glorious thought! My sin - not in part, but the whole, Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! It is well with my soul; It is well, it is well with my soul."
C. Gold is the gift for a king (Jesus is King)
When a gift of gold was given to Jesus, this symbolically identified Jesus as a king, for gold is the gift for a king. The coming of a great king was a deep-seated expectation in the hearts of all Jews throughout the centuries, since the rule of David Tasker notes the spirit of anticipation that was maintained amidst the decline of Israel after David's reign. "The abuse of power led to the division of the kingdom, and so to its permanent weakening, rendering it more and more the prey of foreign powers. But often during the period of decline that followed the disruption, the Israelites looked wistfully back to the happy days of King David, and dreamed of the time when a king of David's descent would arise and establish the reign of God at Jerusalem, and manifest the sovereignty of God by bringing all other nations into subjection and bestowing great blessings upon His people." (The Nature and Purpose of the Gospels; pg. 63)
Jesus came to be King, but not the type of king that the Jews were anticipating. The Jews looked to Jesus as God's agent through whom the Jews would conquer all their enemies and enjoy an age of peace and prosperity. This expectation reached its height when the excited Jews shouted Hosanna to Christ as He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The Jews expected Jesus to soon fulfill their nationalistic dreams.
Jesus, however, came not to be a conquering king over earthly kingdoms, but He came to be the King of men's lives. He came not to shatter the Romans, but He came to die on a cross in order that the Romans might be truly transformed, as well as all the Gentiles of the world. Christ came not to destroy, but to restore. He came not to hate, but to love. Christ came to destroy man's passion and pride and then set up his rule in man's heart.
Gold is the gift for a King. Jesus is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, and as such, I must surrender my all to His kingship! I must look to Jesus as my king. Because He is my King, I must submit to His kingly reign! What is His reign? His reign is the reign of love. Therefore, to make room for King Jesus' reign in my life, is to make room for the King's love.
To make room for Jesus' love in your life means that you allow Jesus to cast out the 'demons' of hate and bitterness and resentment and jealousy.
Norman Vincent Peale tells of being invited to an old-fashioned prayer meeting and praise service. "The house was full of people. Many were sitting on the floor; some were on the stairs, even two on the grand piano. People were everywhere and all were singing old Gospel hymns – 'Jesus shall reign where'er the sun does his successive journeys run,' 'Just as I am', and many other familiar hymns. Then they prayed, holding hands as they did so. It was like an electric current flowing around the circle. Power was emanating from one to the other. Finally a man arose and walked across the floor with a slight limp. 'I had a very bad physical condition and was told I would never walk again.' he said.
'Well,' I commented, 'you're walking now. How did it happen?'
'Jesus did it', he replied.
"A beautiful woman came forward and told how she had been helped out of a street gutter in the city of Chicago, a drug addict, and sent to an institution where she received treatment. She found herself, kicked the habit, and was free at last. 'How did it happen?' I asked.
'Jesus did it' she replied.
"Then a couple stood up, arm in arm. 'You have no idea how we used to fight,' they said. 'We cursed and swore at each other. We hated each other and each of us tried to be the most devilish to the other. But now we are remarried and live happily in love and peace.
I asked,' And how did that happen?"
'Jesus did it,' they answered." (Sermon: 'Defeat? No Way. The Word is Victory'; pg. 8, 9)
Have you made room for Jesus' kingly deliverance in your life? Have you allowed Jesus to deliver you from your personal hang-ups, from a foul temper, or from foul words, or from foul attitudes, of from foul habits? Remember, Jesus is King, and "He is able to deliver thee."
He is able to deliver thee, Though by sin oppressed, Go to Him for Rest; Our God is able to deliver thee."
One man was 'making fun' of a new convert. Said the cynic to the new convert: "How do you explain the fact that Jesus turned water into wine?" Replied the new believer, "Whether Jesus turned water into wine, I do not know. But one thing I do know. When Jesus came into my heart and home, he changed my beer and wine into furniture!"
Jesus is King! Will you worship Him as your King? Will you submit to His kingly power, the kind of power that can transform your entire life? Paul was transformed! "I (Paul) used to believe that I ought to do many horrible things to the followers of Jesus of Nazareth. I imprisoned many of the saints in Jerusalem, as authorized by the High Priests; and when they were condemned to death, I cast my vote against them. I used to torture to try to make Christians everywhere curse Christ. I was so violently opposed to them that I even hounded them in distant cities in foreign lands. I was on such a mission to Damascus, armed with the authority and commission of the chief priests, when one day about noon, sir, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. We all fell down, and I heard a voice speaking to me in Hebrew, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are only hurting yourself' 'Who are you, sir?' I asked. "And the Lord replied, 'I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now stand up! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and my witness. You are to tell the world about this experience and about the many other occasions when I shall appear to you. And I will protect you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am going to send you to the Gentiles to open their eyes to their true condition so that they may repent and live in the light of God instead of in Satan's darkness, so that they may receive forgiveness for their sins and God's inheritance along with all people everywhere whose sins are cleansed away, who are set apart by faith in me." (Acts 26:9-18)
III. The Goal Of Worship – Glorifying And Praising God.
"Then the shepherds went back again to their fields and flocks, praising God for the visit of the angels, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had told them." (Luke 2:20)
What is the goal of worship? Is it to solve our human problems? Is it simply to feel good? We need to have our human problems solved, and we all like to feel good, but the goal of worship is neither of these. The goal of worship is to focus on God, not on ourselves and not on our world's problems. "The Bible is filled with praise to Eternal God. The Psalms, hymn book of the Israelitish nation, and the burst of song which appears with almost calculated regularity throughout, characterize the Word of God. Why, then, the preoccupation with man, his problems, and his world? Even our modem devotions tend to be man-centered. Surely this is but one more symptom of what Archbishop William Temple called our self-centeredness which is our original sin'." (Alive To God Through Praise; Preface; Demaray)
The object of all true worship is God – His character and His purposes. "Glory to God in the highest" was the theme of the angelic choir on that historic night long ago. And it remains the theme of heaven's angelic choirs throughout eternity. "Day and night they (the heavenly hosts) never stop saying: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.' Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 'You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.'" (Revelation 4:8-11)
IV. The Benefits Of Worship – Joy And Peace In The Worshiper's Soul!
"Lord," he said, "now I can die content! For I have seen him as you promised I would. I have seen the Savior you have given to the world." (Luke 2:29-30) "She never left the Temple but stayed the night and day, worshiping God by praying and often fasting. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph and she also began thanking God and telling everyone in Jerusalem who had been awaiting the coming of the Savior that the Messiah had finally arrived." (Luke 2:37-38)
The message which the angel announced to the shepherds was a message full of joy. Said the angel, "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." (Luke 2:10) When the Wise Men "saw the star, they were overjoyed." (Matthew 2:10)
Can you sense the joy that the old man Simeon must have felt when he took the Christ child into his arms? Do you remember the account? "That day a man named Simeon,
a Jerusalem resident, was in the Temple. He was a good man, very devout, filled with the Holy Spirit and constantly expecting the Messiah to come soon. For the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen him – God's anointed King. The Holy Spirit had impelled him to go to the Temple that day; and so when Mary and Joseph arrived to present the baby Jesus to the Lord in obedience to the law, Simeon was there and took the child in his arms, praising God. 'Lord', he said, 'now I can die content! For I have seen him as you promised I would. I have seen the Savior you have given to the world. He is the Light that will shine upon the nations and He will be the glory of your people Israel!
And think of the joy and contentment that Anna, the elderly prophetess, must have felt when she first saw the Christ child! Her response to the Christ Child is recorded in Luke 2:38. "Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem."
Whenever people appropriately respond in worship to the Christ, there inevitably comes a sense of joy and fulfillment and contentment. In Christ's presence there is joy forevermore!
Worship should never be a drab or monotonous routine. Rather, worship should be filled with excitement and joy – "joy that is unspeakable and full of glory!"
After he came from his prayer closet, where he worshiped his blessed Lord, John Wesley's face often shone with a glow of joy. Someone said of him, "He thought prayer to be more his business than anything else, and I have seen him come out of his closet with a serenity of face next to shining." Moses too was a "man with a shining face". When he descended Mt. Sinai, where he had been a long time alone with God, his face was radiant with the glory of God – shining with such a brilliance that the Israelites put a veil over his face!
Notes William Barclay, "It must never be forgotten that joy is one of the commonest New Testament words."
"When Dr. Farmer, organist at Harrow, pleaded with the Salvationist drummer not to hit the drum so hard, the beaming bandsman replied: 'Lor' bless you, sir, since I've been converted, I's so happy, I could burst the blooming drum.'"
Notes Donald Demaray, "One of the doxologies of the Church contains the phrase, 'Him praise with mirth!' ….It was Mauree Johnson who told of the old mountaineer who said, 'When I give thanks it happifies my soul'" (Alive To God Through Praise; Preface) If you want joy – real joy -let Jesus come into your heart! If you want joy – real joy – make Jesus the object of your worship.
Concerning his great happiness as a worshiper of the true and living God, John Wesley wrote the following:
As a Christian I am happy in a special kind of way, inexpressibly happy. Happy in what? In these clear and complete convictions: The God who is all-powerful, all-wise, all-gracious, governor over all, loves me! This God who is the lover of my soul is always with me, is never absent, no! Not for a moment. Well! Is it any wonder I love Him too. There is no one in heaven but God. There is no one on earth I desire but God! Something else: He has made me like Himself; He has stamped His image on my heart. Now then: I live for Him; I do only His will; I honor Him with my body and my spirit. Before long, I will die and go to Him, I will die in the arms of God. Then! Good bye to sin Good bye to pain Then! There is only one thing left - to live with Him for ever!
(Quoted in "Alive To God Through Praise"; by Donald Demaray; pg. 100, 101)
O Come, All Ye Faithful
O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem! Come and behold Him, born the King of angels! Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation, O sing, all ye bright hosts of heaven above! Glory to God, all glory in the highest! Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning, Jesus, to Thee be all glory given; Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing! O come, let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!
The goal of worship is to praise and to glorify God. All persons or groups of persons surrounding the manger, find themselves praising and exalting in God and in the Good News which God revealed in Jesus Christ:
(a) The Angels - Luke 2:13-14 (b) The Shepherds - Luke 2:20 (c) Simeon - Luke 2:28 (d) Anna - Luke 2:38 (e) Wise Men - Matthew 2:11
Jesus' worth is recognized when:
1. Like Anna, we are willing patiently to wait upon God to reveal the Christ to us (Luke 2:37-38).
2. Like the Wise Men, we are willing to search for the Christ (Matthew 2:9-10).
3. Like the Wise Men, we are willing to bow low before Christ to surrender ourselves to Christ (the most important gift we can give to Christ).
4. Like Simeon, we are able to understand and to experience the significance of Christ's universal salvation (Luke 2:28-32).
5. Like the Shepherds, we are eager to witness for Christ to others (Luke 2:17).
What common response did the following make to Christ, when they first heard about the birth of Christ, or when they first saw Him? – ( a) The Angels – Luke 2:13-14; (b) The Shepherds – Luke 2:15-20, (c) Simeon and Anna – Luke 2:25-28, (d) Kings- Matthew 2:2, Luke 2:11.
Tell why you agree or disagree with the following statements: "The basis of true worship is recognition of Jesus' identity. When people, like the shepherds, are shown who Jesus really is, they are instinctively drawn to Jesus and find themselves on their faces before Him."
Because of what Christ accomplished when He came to earth, what attitude does God have towards mankind, according to Luke 2:13-14?
According to Matthew 2:11, what is the essence of true worship?
What significance is there in each of the gifts of the Wise Men – 'Frankincense', 'Myrrh', and 'Gold'?
Because Christ is your 'Priest' – i.e., your 'Bridge-Builder' – what should be your response to Him? (1 Timothy 2:3-5)
Why is it impossible for a person – a sinner – to earn, to purchase, or to deserve God's salvation?
Why is it impossible for Jesus to be the King of your life while, at the same time, you nurse grudges against people or hold hate and bitterness and jealousy in your heart?
Tell why you agree or disagree with the following statements: "We need to have our human problems solved, and we all like to feel good, but the goal of worship is neither of these. The goal of worship is to focus on God, not on ourselves and not on our world's problems." (Note Luke 2:11, Luke 2:13-14, Luke 2:20, Luke 2:28, Luke 2:38; Revelation 4:8-11)
From your own personal experience, tell if you can attest to the truth of the following statements: "Whenever people appropriately respond in worship to the Christ, there inevitably comes a sense of joy and fulfillment and contentment. In Christ's presence there is joy forevermore!" (Note Luke 2:28-32, Luke 2:38; Matthew 2:10; Luke 2:10)