Home > Opinion > Joy to the world, the Lord has come

Joy to the world, the Lord has come

THIS Christmas carol is one of my absolute favourites because it sums up why Jesus came to earth — to bring joy, and it also mentions our response to this good news which is to "let every heart prepare Him room".

Every time I sing it, I think about how I have prepared room for him in my heart.

The melody is such a joyful one that it also helps to communicate this message of joy.

Joy is such a wonderful euphoric feeling which seems to come from deep within us.

It is the joy which Jesus speaks about in John 15:11 when he says "Let my joy be in you that your joy may be complete".

This kind of joy is not superficial joy which depends on our circumstances.

It is the joy we can experience even in the face of difficulties.

We are only able to know this kind of joy because Jesus came to earth.

Joy at Christmas time is reflected in all kinds of ways including being warmly greeted by strangers with the words "Happy Christmas".

These greetings lift the human spirit.

People seem to be less impatient and more courteous.

I have had many different experiences of joy in my life, from the birth of a new niece or nephew, to watching young people make a lifetime commitment to each other in marriage, to enjoying an amazing sunset or listening to the sound of the crashing ocean.

As I now approach my retirement, I have been reflecting on some of my experiences of joy.

One of my greatest joys has been working with young people in a variety of settings — camps, leadership courses, teaching, training, and most recently at Grace College within the University of Queensland.

I love their idealism, their desire to make the world a better place, their willingness to give of themselves to help their visions become reality.

It has been a joy to see so many young people grow and mature in their faith and take on leadership roles in the church and community.

So I encourage all of you this Christmas, when you sing this carol, to think about the experiences of joy in your life and reflect on how you make room in your life for Jesus who is the joy giver.

Dr Sue Fairley, Principal of Grace College at the University of Queensland, will retire at the end of this year.