I was studying for a message last week and I was speaking on joy. We are going through a series this Christmas season called ‘Wait of the World’ and we are looking at all the things that the world was anticipating and hoping for from a messiah. Isaiah 9:2-7 gives a wonderful picture of this. Last week we talked about the wait of moving from sorrow to joy. As I studied, one of the things that I came across was that the word for joy actually comes from the same Greek root word as the word for grace. One of the cool things that I learned was the the word grace literally means/meant – a surprise gift. So, joy is actually our response to ‘a surprise gift.’

That struck a cord with me especially during this Christmas season. We have increase joy as we are more and more surprised by the gift that God has given us – the gift of His very son. What a thing to celebrate this time of year. Unfortunately, many of us have heard the story so many times that it no longer surprises us. I hope the story that God came to earth (a vulnerable baby, born in a pie of animal crap to a teenage couple without a dime to their name) – Emmanuel; God with us – I hope the story surprises you again this year.