This Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent already! The pink JOY candle will be lit on the Advent Wreath by Lorrie LeGrand and Jose Otalora who shared the joy of their engagement with the church several weeks ago in worship. I hope you will be present with your church family in the beautifully decorated Sanctuary on Sunday.
As I reflect on the feeling of Joy, today is a reminder for me of the joy I experienced forty-eight years ago around 2:30 a.m. when my son Brian was born. I had been hoping for a boy and back then there were no tests available during pregnancy to inform parents of their baby’s gender in advance of the birth. When the doctor said, “You have a healthy baby boy!” the feeling that flooded over me reminded me of the joy of the Christmas mornings I had experienced as child. All these years later, I can still tap into that memory and recapture a wisp of that joy.
Joy is a gift from God to us. It is defined by Miriam Webster as, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: delight. “In the English Standard Version of the Bible, the words “joy,” “rejoice,” or “joyful” appear a total of 430 times.
I really like Christian author John Piper’s description of the feeling of joy as one of the “movements of the soul.” He writes in his article “How Do You Define Joy?” that movements of the soul are produced by the Holy Spirit. They are called the fruit of the Holy Spirit. “The fruit of the [Holy] Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). Therefore, the joy in my soul overflowing towards God is coming from the work of the Holy Spirit,” says Piper. The thought that joy comes from God and flows through us connecting us to the source of all joy is one that, quite frankly, gives me joy!
In this waning Advent time of preparation and waiting in hope for the coming of Love Incarnate, I pray that each of you will find joy!
In Christ’s love,
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