Article 33 : Thoughts from the cross trainer - Joy

This has been a year like no other in so many ways that we could never have imagined at the start. Every part of our day–to–day lives has been impacted by the Covid virus and the fight to control the spread and help those stricken with it.
Whodathunk Luddites like me would be doing Zoom meetings and group WhatsApp calls – I know – cutting edge!! – and joining in online prayer meetings and Bible studies. HUGE thanks to all those gifted folks in our fellowship who’ve helped us to cope and even thrive through it all.
YET, through all the challenges and changes, the Lord truly has been preparing our hearts and inspiring us with hope to see His kingdom come in us and through us in an unprecedented way.
‘Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing

I just love Christmas carols and this is one of my favourites. Now, admit it, you had to sing that and not just read it, didn’t you? If not, then ‘Bah, humbug’ to you!
I find that the spiritual truth in these carols resonates afresh every year when we sing them.
Let every heart prepare Him room
We’ve been encouraged by Pastor Tim to do this daily, to consciously and deliberately invite Jesus right into the middle of everything we’re doing throughout our day. We’re taking more time to speak with Him, to express our love and thanks to Him and to speak out about Him, as He seems to be giving us so many more opportunities to do.
Let earth receive her King!
We’ve learned more than ever that Jesus came to redeem not only mankind but the very Earth itself and all its systems. We’re learning the power of blessing family, city, region and nation and everything that comprises them. We’re seeing extraordinary outcomes of our blessings, declarations and prayers and it’s so very encouraging. We do proclaim it –  ‘Let earth receive her King!’ for as we read:
For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.’ (Rom 8:19)
We have a major part in co-partnering with the Lord to declare His kingdom on earth and to see incarnated all that Jesus won on the cross for His whole creation. How amazing is that, and what an incredible privilege and responsibility we have! The prophets of the Old Testament longed to understand and be part of what God was revealing to them and even the angels are not granted to work with God, as we are!
It was revealed to them [the prophets] that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.’ (1 Peter 1:12)
And heaven and nature sing
As we play our part and the earth is redeemed and transformed, and we begin to see
Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven
then, truly, heaven and nature will begin to sing together.
Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Joy – this is the word I want to leave you with, and it is because The Lord is come.
‘Joy, unspeakable joy
An overflowing well
No tongue can tell
Joy, unspeakable joy
Rises in my soul
Never lets me go’
This is the refrain we now sing with this carol and it says it all!
Lord, we can’t express how grateful we all are for how You’ve led us and guided us throughout this whole year and our hearts truly are filled with joy in who You’ve shown Yourself to be. We put our trust in only You for all that lies ahead.
Merry Christmas and God bless us, everyone!
by Ev Cowan Blog #9, 21/12/2020