Happiness of the season comes wrapped in swaddling clothes

Posted: Friday, December 08, 2000

'Tis the season to be jolly.

Yes, the season is upon us again. Yet we wonder, where is the jolliness?

It seems we have missed the true meaning of this joyous season. Do we find it a pleasure to give gifts to those we love? Or do we find ourselves getting all stressed out, worrying about what to give whom, or where the money will come from to do the things we want to do?

This last year, one lady gave a certain amount to be used to feed the poor, then informed her family that this was her gift to each of them for the year. It seemed they took great pleasure in knowing they had a part in the giving.

Why should it be a season to be jolly? What is there to be happy about?

When we remember the true reason for this season, it will certainly bring joy. This world was lost and in sin, needed a savior to redeem the people. As prophesied, God sent a child, his only begotten son to fulfill the purpose. He was referred to by John in chapter 1:24 as the Lamb of God. Fittingly, this little lamb was born in a manger.

When we greet someone, our most common question is, "How are you?" We instantly get the run down of their most recent health, financial, or perhaps even marriage problems, or else we get another common answer, "Fine." However, the expression on their face tells us differently.

There is a song, "Get Back to the Basics of Life." We need to find the true happiness that is ours as a child of God. Psalms 144:15 says, "Happy is the people whose God is the Lord."

Ecclesiastes 3:14 says, "To everything there is a season. A time to weep and a time to laugh." What a feeling of release when we can just laugh. When we were small children, if things seemed gloomy one of us would start to snicker, then another. Soon all would be laughing, not really knowing what about.

It has been explained to me in a medical sense, that when you laugh, your diaphragm goes down, your lungs expand, and you take in two to three times more oxygen than usual causing a surge of energy to rush through your body. Perhaps this explains Proverbs 17:22: "A merry heart does good like a medicine.

One of the churches in Soldotna had a sign this week," Recount your blessings." What a difference it makes in our life when we begin to count our blessings. It brings a smile to our face when we think of our families and friends who love us. It should bring a super-abundant joy to our heart when we consider ourselves a blessed nation who can call ourselves by God's name.

We are known as a nation whose God is a living God. A God who loved so much, he provided a way for our salvation. This plan of his was to send his only begotten son to be born as a child, who would be willing to sacrifice his life, that those who believe in him could have life everlasting.

True happiness does not come wrapped up in a box with a pretty bow on top. True happiness came wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Pat Knowles attends Birchridge Community Church where Cameron Dockery is pastor. Sunday services are at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Soldotna Senior Center.

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