This is the third week of Advent, the week to celebrate JOY!!!
One thing that sometimes happens as we get ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth is we expect to be ~ and others expect us to be ~ happy all the time. But Joy? It’s not the same as happy. Joy is a deeper feeling created by knowing that God cares for us. That He leads us when we can’t find our way. And He gives us chance after chance to make things right with Him and with our neighbors. We rejoice because God is our dear Father and because the Holy Spirit lives in our hearts. We are happy because Jesus wants to give us his peace and let us share his joy now and in heaven forever.Joy is remembering that God sent Jesus so we would always know of God’s care.
We light a pink candle this week, which is different from the others because joy is possible regardless of our circumstances because Christ has come, and Christ is coming again.
As the Hymn of Joy says…
“No more let sins and sorrows grow Nor thorns infest the ground.
He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found.”
Christ came to free us from what holds us down so we can free to hope and love and live with joy.
Listen to the words from this Psalm of Joy, Psalm 33.
Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous!
It is fitting for the upright to praise Him!
Praise the Lord with the harp.
Make music to him on the ten stringed lyre.
Sing to Him a new song. Play skillfully, and shout for joy.
For the word of the Lord is right and true. He is faithful in all He does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice.
ALL: The earth is full of His unfailing love.
Dear God: Thank you for your son, Jesus. Thank you for the joy remembering Jesus’ birth brings to us today. Help us live in such a way that our words and our actions help others know of the joy you give. AMEN.