Advent Week 3: JOY

 

She is heard in the crushing roar of a stadium as the home team clinches the victory. She is audible in the screaming laugh of a woman as she reads the words “pregnant” on the test. She’s there between the waltzing steps of a father spinning his toddler around the linoleum kitchen floor. She rocks along with you in the sanctuary that is your car when you belt out your favorite song at the top of your lungs while playing an amazing drum solo on the steering wheel. In the moment where aching unknowns are swallowed up by relief, she’s there—and her name is Joy. 

This Advent, where we have welcomed a steady Hope and a restful Peace, Joy now bursts onto the scene with full-volume shouts, and twirls around the room performing her best victory dance. She is an energetic emotion, who hasn’t learned how to whisper. Joy is a party. Joy is a celebration. Joy is a perspective-changer. 

We find Joy in the best times in our lives; however, she isn’t restricted to living only in the good. Joy’s presence is not dependent on whether we are experiencing success or suffering. No matter our circumstances or situations—we can rejoice because there is Jesus. Where there is Jesus, there is Joy.

Christmas can not exist without Joy. She is the direct result of the birth of Christ. When he came, he invited her into the world with him. She danced in the sky as the angels sang of the highest glory. She filled the stable with gleeful squeals of relief. Where there is Jesus, there is Joy. Just as he promised, he came and will come again! Heaven and nature sing as we receive our long-awaited king!

Joy pleads with us to invite her into our Advent season, but often we crowd her out with other guests. Stress, Busyness, and Distractions bully their way in and will always try to rob us of our Joy. Instead, we must make room for her. We must embrace Joy. Allow the presence of Jesus and his Joy to overflow in your life. As you anticipate and celebrate the birth of Jesus, may his Joy—your Joy—be palpable to others. May uncontainable Joy be yours and may she point others straight to Jesus!

 

Pink Candle: 

On this Sunday, we encourage you to light three candles – the first reminding us of the hope of Christ, the second reminding us of the peace he brings, and the third and pink candle of the joy that comes with his coming. On week three, our sorrow turns to joy, our grief to celebration, as we prepare for Christ’s coming.

 

Sunday Reading:

Isaiah 35:1-10

Psalm 146:5-10

Luke 1:46b-55

James 5:7-10

Matthew 11:2-11

 

Reflection Questions:

What elements of this season may be squeezing joy from your lives? How could you make more room for God’s rich joy this week?

 

Prayer:

Pray this prayer throughout the day. Every time you sit down at a meal or sit at a red light breathe this prayer: 

Lord Jesus, please allow your presence and joy to overflow in my life. May this uncontainable joy point others to you!

 
Posted on December 11, 2016 .