The one word that I associate most with Christmas and the Holiday season is Joy. It is referenced throughout scripture and is used to describe the emotional reaction we should experience when thinking of a young savior being born in a manger over two thousand years ago.
I’m not sure that we as westerners really understand the meaning of Joy. I think many of us get caught up with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, our work, our lives, etc. and we take for granted the things that bring us true joy. One of the many things I saw in Ghana earlier this year was pure joy. As I reflect on why it looks so different and why it seems so inhibited I begin to see it’s because of hope. You see these children have hope. They have been rescued and have begun the process of being restored through the work of Touch A Life and thus they have renewed hope in their future and the lives they now will be able to live. This hope allows them to be filled with joy.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~ Romans 15:13
You can’t interact without the children of Touch A Life without experiencing hope and joy yourself. You see their hope is contagious; it challenged me to pause and reflect on my life and my state of joy and peace. What I found was that I tend to get so bogged down in the mundane of my life that I get overwhelmed and lose sight of hope; hope that begins with the story of that birth in a manger where freedom was born centuries ago.
This Christmas, my wish for each of you is that you will become more like the children of Touch A Life and embrace joy and peace abounding this holiday season in hope. One of my favorite illustrations of true and pure joy is the video the Filhos do Caraco team captured earlier this year as the children express themselves through dance. Take a minute and watch by clicking the image below; you won’t regret it.