Uplift – January 6, 2017

Posted on Posted in Friday Uplift

When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:10-11

Today is Epiphany.
It’s the day that the wise men come and celebrate the baby Jesus.

These guys had been following this star for awhile.
And when it stopped, the text says “they were overwhelmed with joy.”

What was the cause?
Is it because the anticipation was so great and when they were finally where they had been going they just couldn’t handle it anymore and got overwhelmed?
Or is it because they were so happy to have the journey done?

I honestly don’t have the answer for this.
But I think it’s some kind of combination of both.
I don’t think they knew what to expect, only that it was going to be big.
And after traveling for so long, they were SO CLOSE…
Have you ever been so tired of traveling you just cried when you finally got to where you were going?
It’s important to recognize that they haven’t even seen Jesus yet,
but already they are overwhelmed with joy.

The Greek here translated literally is “they rejoiced with an exceedingly great amount of joy”
I love this.
Like a joy explosion.
In the midst of their exhaustion and confusion and yes, even fear (they knew Herod was trying to use them to kill this new savior, after all) they responded with joy that just couldn’t be contained.

They know that this Jesus person is going to change everything and even though they don’t quite understand it or know what it means or even fully experience it, they rejoice.

Because today – on Epiphany, Christ is revealed.
(that’s actually what the word means you know)
This person that we’ve been waiting for, the one we keep hearing about – is here.
And even though we don’t fully understand it all,
and don’t always know what it means,
when we don’t know what is coming next,
we still know it’s a big deal.
Jesus has come – and we rejoice.

I think joy is a tricky thing.
We often confuse it with happiness.
But joy isn’t the same at all.
Joy stays.
Joy is there even when things don’t look good.
When you’re tired and scared and unsure.
Joy can even be there when you’re unhappy.
Because Jesus coming into this broken world and into all the things that make it dark and scary, like loss and heartbreak and death and sickness…  Jesus coming into THIS world means those things don’t win.
They will never win.

You guys.
Jesus has come.
For you.
It’s time to let that sink in and have your own epiphany.
Let it overwhelm you with joy.

Joy explosions. Everywhere.