If you had to describe Christmas with an emoji, what would it be—the red angry face, the blue tearful face, or the yellow smiling face? The answer, according to our culture, is the last one. Count the number of “joys” in cards and commercials and you’ll run out of fingers and toes. Note every “Merry” Christmas and “Happy” Holidays and you’ll need a book for all those notes. Sing “Joy to the World.” Or “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Or “Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong?” It seems everyone everywhere is telling us to rejoice at Christmas.
But that’s only possible if your happiness is in the right source. Put your happiness in the perfect presents and you might end up like that angry emoji, frustrated over what your family didn’t buy. Put your happiness in the presence of your preferred people, and you might be sad when friends and family have to work, travel, or pass away. But put your ultimate happiness in the perfect present, the presence of the eternal and glorious God, and you will always have a reason to rejoice. “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you” (Luke 2:10,11). Great joy! Explosive happiness! Why? Because Jesus was born. Because the Savior has come. Because Immanuel—God with us—is always true for those who trust in Christ. Now that is a reason to rejoice!