Friday is for Heart Songs
No affliction can extinguish our joy because Christmas joy led, in the fullness of time, to resurrection rejoicing.
2 Corinthians 6:3–10 (ESV)
3 We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
The incarnation, what Christmas is all about, starts with angels announcing joy, then travels through the family’s flight to Egypt and sorrow of Bethlehem’s infants, through the obscurity of Nazareth, to a Roman instrument of torture and death, into the dark dampness of a rock-tombed grave, and back to the joy of the resurrection.
God become man, enfleshed, incarnated, made like one of us to satisfy all the requirements of the the Law so that we might be made right with God and experience shalom. Almost 200 references to “shalom” in the Old Testament and 70 percent of them identify with the presence of God–another reason our Lord is called Emmanuel, God with us, and the Prince of Peace.
Even in our sorrow, no matter what the cause of our sorrow, we are “always rejoicing.” This is the birthright of the people of God.