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Joy of Christmas

December 19, 2018
By Lance Davids

Joy of Christmas
Merry Christmas!

I want to take a moment to thank all of you for your support this past year. It has been an exciting year as we closed one chapter in Illiana’s history and began another. It is a blessing to walk into Illiana every day and teach all of your children. Joy is a word that comes to mind often as I walk the halls of Illiana. Joy is most often talked about during the Christmas season, but the reality is, it should define us every day of the year.

A month ago, my family was at the Illiana Auction, intent on buying a white lab puppy. Many of you have seen our dog and she is adorable, but at the start of the auction she wasn’t ours yet. My kids were nervous all night. They couldn’t wait until the time came for the puppy to be auctioned off. The bidding finally started and it went back and forth for a long time. Every time the bid would go to me, my girls would jump with excitement. But when the bid went to one of the other bidders, they would freak out. It was a roller coaster of emotions for them. Back and forth for what seemed like an hour, but then
the time came, “Going once, going twice… Sold to buyer number 63!” She was ours! My girls leapt for joy and hugged each other, which doesn’t happen often. My youngest was so excited, she was crying. It was a fun moment for my family. The girls were so joyful that night because that was the day Leia (thenew dog) became a member of our family.

Hebrews 12:2b says, “For the joy set before him, [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” I have always wondered how there could be joy in the cross. Here it is: Jesus could have joy because he knew on that day through his sacrifice, we were added to the family of God. We are purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ and through Christ, we become sons and daughters of the King. That is true joy and it’s what we celebrate at Christmas because the joy of Christmas is made complete with the joy of the cross!

I pray this week as you celebrate our Savior’s birth with family and friends, you find time to thank and praise Jesus that we are part of his family because of his birth, life, death, and resurrection. Joy to the world, the Lord has come!