Waynedale United Methodist Church
Saturday, April 04, 2020
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!

August 20, 2017 Sermon

“Full of Joy: God With Us!”
Luke 2:9, 10  Matthew 28:5 – 8
Ted Jansen  August 20, 2017  Waynedale UMC
1.)        “Joyfully Connecting People to Christ and Community!”  That is our vision at Waynedale United Methodist Church. 
            As I thought of the word, “Joyful,“ I turned it around to create the phrase, “Full of Joy.”  Then I looked at all the places in scripture that the words “Joy, Joyful, or Joyfully,” were mentioned. I read from the Old and New Testament about joy. 
            Then the hymn, “Joy to the World,” came to me and as I read the four verses of the hymn the scripture verses fit together.  I put together a four week series on joy, tying all things together.  
            We are going to explore “Full of Joy” when we know: “God is with us, God is worthy, God washes us, and God wows us.” 
2.)        Let us sing the first verse of “Joy to the World.”  (#246 UMH) 
3.)        Joy comes when we know that God is with us!  That is what happened to the shepherds as we read Luke 2:8 – 10.  “And there were shepherds living out in the field nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” 
Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.  Verse 10 mentions joy.  This joy was the message the angel brought to the shepherds.  Joy was the truth that God is with us.  In the birth of Christ we know that God is with us.  Immanuel is a name for Jesus that means, God with us.     
4.)        A missionary, Ken, from African shared a message about the difference between someone being “for” you and someone being “with” you.  He mentioned that it is important to have people that are “for” you.  They are people who communicate, care, and cheer you, they would do anything “for” you. 
            He mentioned that it is essential to have people who are “with” you.  They are people who walk with you, dream with you, pray with you, laugh with you, and cry with you.  These people are close to you because when we go through hard times these people are “with” us.    
            Who are the people that are “with” us?  Think of a person who was “with” you in some tragedy, hurt, pain, struggle, heartache.  Share that name with another person.    
5.)        I had a chance for two years to be “with” my lunch buddy at Waynedale Elementary School.  It was an experience of joy for me.  I could have stayed in the church building and thought of him and cheered him on and even prayed for him.  That would have been good, but it was not enough to be “for” him.  I wanted and needed to be “with” him.  When I was “with” him we would eat lunch, play games, talk, read and spend time together.  I pray that I made a difference in his life by being “with” him. 
            We thank God for the people who have been “with” us.  We find joy in our lives when we know that God is “with” us. 
6.)        Joy comes when we least expect it! That is what happened to some women who were going to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body with spices.  They were unable to take care of Jesus’ body right after he died because it was the Sabbath.  So, after the Sabbath they went looking for His body, holding on to the truth of His death, filled with grief and sadness.  They loved Jesus and were caring for His body out of love and service.    
            Listen to Matthew 28:5–10. “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ I have told you.”
 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.  Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
The women hurried away from the tomb, afraid, yet filled with joy.  Joy is in verse 8.      
            What gave them joy?  It was the unexpected message and promise that Jesus was no longer dead, that He was alive.  They experienced joy when they met Him.   Joy came when they were assured that Jesus was “with” them.           
7.)        Can you think of an unexpected joy that you had in your life this past week, month, or year?  Can you think of someone that came to you?  Share that with another person.  
8.)        In looking at these scriptures we see an angel, as well as Jesus, mention fear.  The angel that spoke to the shepherds and to the women both said, “Do not be afraid.”  We need to realize that fear pushes joy out of our lives. The angel spoke to the shepherds and to the women before they knew joy, “Do not be afraid.”    
9.)        We have been afraid at times and I was curious as to what happens when we have fear.  
One source said when you are fearful you get a dry mouth because your saliva decreases, your pupils dilate, your breathing is quick and deep breathing occurs, your bowels cause your food movement to slow down, your blood vessels dilate causing blood pressure to increase, your muscles become tense, trembling can occur, your stomach has less digestive enzyme, your heart beats faster and harder, you experience chills and sweating because your blood vessels constrict.
All this happens when you experience fear. Fear does not allow us to know joy.     
10.)      What does joy look like in your life?  When we focus on the fact that God is with us we have joy.  When we allow unexpected blessings to be received we have joy.     
            When we experience joy we laugh, feel happy and more relaxed.  Here is what happens to us when we have laughter.     
11.)      Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
            Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
            Laughter triggers the release of endorphins. The body’s natural feel-good chemicals increase. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being, and can temporarily relieve pain. 
Joy and delight produce nitric oxide in our body, which provides a good flow of blood.
12.)      Joy can be seen in the faces of a girl and Mom, who is serving in the military, who surprised her to be with her.  Can you see the joy of being “with” each other?  (Show picture)     
            May you find joy this week in the promise and presence of our God who loves us and is with us!