When they saw the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

~Matthew 2:10, AV


JOY is the holy fire that keeps our passion warm and our intelligence aglow.

~Helen Keller

I love this verse and I love the AV translation of it over all others. Matthew uses both an adjective {me’-gäs} which is a familiar prefix in English {megaphone would be an example} and an adverb {sfo’-drä} which is not familiar at all. This adverb translated ‘exceeding’ is used only 11 times in the NT. For example:

  • Matthew 17:6–And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were exceedingly afraid.
  • Matthew 17:23–When Jesus told His disciples about His upcoming death: they were exceeding sorry.
  • Matthew 19:25–The disciples are exceedingly amazed.

I can identify with all three: I have been exceedingly afraid a few times, exceedingly sorry many times and exceeding amazed practically everyday but Matthew 2:10 is by far my favorite. I will take JOY over fear, sorrow or even amazement. I know there is a lot of sorrow in this world and Christmas does not make it go away, but it does make it easier to bear. I enjoy being in the presence of happy people and it seems to me that people are happier this time of year. Christmas is a celebration of great JOY. The star the wise men saw was a bright light in an otherwise dark shy. It stood out like a diamond on black velvet but these men did not worship stars, they traveled hundreds of miles to worship the One who made the stars. Jesus can light up the heavens and He can also light up our hearts. This is why they were filled with JOY.

  • Rarely do I go back to the same hospital twice in one day but that’s what happened yesterday. I went to see George “Bill” Harrison a little after lunch and he was feeling great and then last night around 6:00 or so he had another heart attack. I wrote this blog after the second visit. I don’t like slapping one together when I am tired but I have a long day ahead of me {Lord Willing} and I wanted to get the blog done before I retired.
  • We had a great time at the STAFF CHRISTMAS PARTY which we do every year but since it was my final year, we invited the deacons. I love Christmas parties.
  • Remember we have a COMMUNION SERVICE on Christmas Eve at 6:00 and one service on Sunday at 10:15. No breakfast this week.
  • Wassailing in going visiting on Christmas Eve and wishing people good health and happiness in the new year. Traditionally, they did it with a drink. I guess in could be hot tea or diet coke. Hot Chocolate may even be better. Its a toast of a person’s health. I’ve been wassailing for years and didn’t know it. I am thinking about wassailing in Danville this year. For the past 25, I’ve wassailed in Limestone County. Landon and I may go to Limestone County on Friday.

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