PWTE Daily Devotion

Ode to Joy

December 11, 2016

An Advent Lesson

You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”
John 1:14, New International Version

Jesus, Word of God Incarnate, is God’s ultimate word to humankind; God’s word of redemption and reconciliation; God’s Word of joy.  On the night of his betrayal, Jesus spoke to comfort the disciples, to fill them with joy.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete,”
John 15:11, New International Version

The disciples were likely among the most joyless individuals on the planet that night.  Jesus, in fact, could trump their cheerless outlook.  He was facing betrayal, torture and death.

Instead, Jesus spoke of joy.

God’s Word in Christ was working to create hope, to give joy on that dark night.  As surely as God’s Word spoke out over the face of the waters and brought creation into being, God in Christ was speaking a new creation into being in the midst of the old.  His Kingdom was coming in power, though to human eyes it looked weak indeed, hanging as it soon would be, upon a cross.  Jesus is God’s word of life to the world.  This life claimed life from death in the resurrection.  Here is God’s Ode to Joy; here is Jesus, the path of life, the road to joy for us today.

It is important to see and hear Jesus on the night of his betrayal even in the midst of Advent.  Facing the reality of his own death, he spoke of joy—his own joy and his desire to impart that joy to us.  We experience betrayal, disappointment, loneliness and death.  But we know God’s greater Word of hope, life and joy in Jesus.  God knows us with a greater Word of joy that can conquer any grim experience in our lives.  We can be a people of joy in the midst of difficulty.  Jesus thought of our joy when he was in his darkest moments, so that our dark moments might be brightened by faith in Christ who is always Coming to us with Joy.

Text and picture, copyright Don Schatz

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