Christmas JOY

silent-nightWhat fills your heart and soul [your thoughts] at Christmas?  Joy .. Peace .. Cheer .. Parties .. Shopping .. Loneliness .. Fear .. Depression?
For some, Christmas is the ultimate year-end high.  The most wonderful time of the year.
For some, Christmas is yet another dark day on the calendar.  An insidious lurking reminder that what was .. is no more.
The Christmas carols that we all enjoy evoke a range of emotions from Joy .. to Reverent Worship .. to human awe and amazement … to deep contemplation.
Hark, The Herald Angels Sing … Joy To The World (The Lord Is Come) … How Great Our Joy … Angels, We Have Heard On High … Good Christian Men Rejoice … What Child Is This? … Silent Night, Holy Night … Away In A Manger … O Holy Night … 
Even the modern pop Holiday songs are filled with a range of emotions from goofy cheer, to despondent sadness.
So, what fills your heart and soul [thoughts] at Christmas?
A recent statistic from 2015 suggests that 1 out of 4 people in the world struggle with mental illness.  Studies show that suicide is the third leading cause of deaths in youth up to age 24, and 90% of those who commit suicide suffer from some type of mental illness.  Depression is the leading cause of suicide among youth up to age 24.  Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is increasing among those in their mid-life and senior years.
I want to urge you to fill you heart and soul with JOY this Christmas.  The Bible says, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy” – Psalm 94:19
David, or one of his songwriters, wrote this Sabbath song as a reminder that God had filled their hearts and souls with JOY, despite the anxieties and worries of their day.
Chris Tomlin penned a wonderful praise song that we sing at my local church …
Joy, unspeakable joy
An overflowing well
No tongue can tell
Joy, unspeakable joy
Rises in my soul, never lets me go
My hope for us, for you, this Christmas season, is that the LORD of Hosts fills our hearts and souls with an overflowing well of JOY.