With the first two candles of Advent already lit, let’s light the third candle of Advent, the candle of Joy.
Our reading today comes from the Gospel of Luke.
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud.
He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
In what could have been devastating news to this young unwed Jewish girl, her reaction is instead joy and thankfulness. She sees what good news this is and what will come. Yes, the road getting there will be lonely and difficult as she is met with the reality of life and the Jewish law. But oh, what joy and peace she has found inside of it. It’s difficult to have joy when it feels like the chips are down and everything is stacked against you. But peace and joy are just waiting for you in it. Peace and Joy are symbiotic, and one can bring about the other. A theologian once said, “Peace is joy at rest, and joy is peace dancing.” Remind yourself of that the next time it feels like joy and peace are a world away. They are there. Waiting. Choose joy. Choose peace. While looking to the Father and resting in His arms.
Ever faithful God,
through prophets and angels,
you promised to raise up a holy child
who would establish a household of peace and justice.
Open our hearts to receive your Son,
that we may open our doors
to welcome all people as sisters and brothers,
and establish your household in our time. Amen.
Joy To The World
How can you bring joy to someone in your life this week? Baking and decorating cookies for them? Taking a walk with them?
If you have kids, ask them how and to whom they can bring joy to this week.