Today we light the candle of Joy with a reading from Luke 1:46-55, ending with the song Joy To The World.
Speaker B: Welcome to the third Sunday of Advent with Westside. Let's begin today by lighting the candles of hope and faith and the third candle of Advent joy. Today's reading is from the Gospel of Luke, chapter one, verses 46 through 55. Mary, respond it o how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior, for he took notice of this 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 the 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 all the chips are down and everything is stacked against you. But peace and joy are 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're here waiting. Choose joy. Choose peace. While looking to the Father and resting in his arms. Let's pray. 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.