Joy, unlike happiness, is a disposition that we can have all the time. It can be challenging to have joy in uncertain times. But to have joy, we must have something that can’t change or be taken away. The birth of Jesus serves as such a source of joy.
Israel’s story might call into question whether God was still interested in being their God. But Jesus demonstrates that God is still with them and for them. Simeon understands Jesus’ identity, and sees his incarnation as proof of God’s faithfulness, even though he didn’t see Jesus’ ministry, death and resurrection. So we, who live after those events, exercise faith like Simeon. We live in a broken world, but one in which we have seen God move. While we wait for God to fulfill his promises completely, we see what he has done as proof that he is with us and for us, and that gives us joy in uncertain times.
Questions for Reflection
- What things seem like constants in my life?
- What things make me happy?
- Do I see the brokenness around me as discouraging? Is it a sign that God is not at work, or do I see him at work in the brokenness?