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Advent week 4: Sing with joy to all the world

“Celebrate God all day, every day, I mean, revel in him!” – Philippians 4:4 (The Message)

On Dec. 5, 2013, we held in our hands a 6-pound, 1-ounce bundle of joy – our first grandchild, Jaxon. Since then, there’s been Eli, Olivia, Nate and most recently, Hannah. Yes, five bundles of 100 percent joy. 

I’ve searched for the perfect word to describe what it means to be a grandpa and I always come back to joy. Those little men and women bring an endless joy to my heart, like an endless smile on my heart. It’s unlike any other experience I’ve ever had. It’s a secret allowed only for grandparents. 

Author Eugene Peterson said, “Joy is the verified, repeated experience of those involved in what God is doing” and that “joy is what God gives, not what we work up.” 

It must be true that God gives joy because the Apostle Paul, locked in a jail cell, wrote, “Celebrate God all day, every day, I mean, revel in him!” (Philippians 4:4). Joy like this could only come from above. 

At Christmastime, the whole world seems like they’ve got joy in their hearts and on their faces. Smiles and greetings abound. “Joy to the world,” we sing, “the Lord is come. Let earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare him room.” 

Let every one of us have an endless smile on our hearts because of the miracle of God in the flesh, the Christ, our Savior, has come. Let heaven and nature sing. 

May this Christmas season be a time of deep reflection on the eternal joy brought to our lives by the birth of the Christ child. 

Gilbert Montez is director of the Buckner Church Relations Department. He and his wife, Beyla, live in Highland Village, Texas, and have two daughters and five grandchildren. 

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