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During the next week, many of the neighborhood’s decorative porch flags will be swapping out fanciful fall leaves and bountiful basket motifs reminding us to “Give Thanks!” They will be replaced with colorful banners portraying snowmen, Santa and all of the other (secular) seasonal symbols, which have managed to wiggle their way into this season that should be marked by one word: “Joy!”

Joy–– it was promised centuries before the birth of Jesus, in these words spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12, NASB)

Joy–– it was the message first spoken on a Judean hillside to some shepherds: “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-12, NASB)

Joy–– it was anticipated by Jesus, for us… when He said: “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”(John 15:11, NASB)

In Psalm 20, David said this about flying the banner (the flag) of joy, over our hearts and our homes: ”We will sing for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions. Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.” (Psalm 20: 5-6, NASB)  One of the first songs I learned at a Christian camp ministry included these lyrics:

Joy is the flag flown high,  From the castle of my heart,  Where the King is in residence there

Joy–– can be ours; in spite of life’s unexpected trials, difficulties and heartaches.  In this season of celebration… let His flag fly high, over the castle of your heart and your home!

In His Joy,  Pastor Daryle