READING: LUKE 2:10-11
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
In this third week of Advent, we pause and reflect on JOY! We reflect upon all that has transpired around us and this nation. Though the celebratory bells rang loudly and the confetti filled the air in Alabama this past week, this type of joy is truly only temporary.
It was a historic feat and reminder to the world that every vote does indeed count! It was a shout in the honor of the 4 little black girls that were killed in the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham. It was a wake-up call that justice can still “roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream. However moments later, this joy was shaken, by bitterness and politics. The world’s joy is fickle. It comes and goes when it pleases. This is not true joy, but happiness. It is the “happenings” of the world and our day to day lives that can trouble us, if we allow it too, just like in the days of the shepherds in the fields.
How do you think the shepherds felt when the angel appeared to them in the evening? Clearly the normal human response would probably be bewilderment and some type of confusion. The shepherds were doing their normal routine, and then here comes an angel. The angel calmed their fear by giving them the greatest news of magnificent JOY, a Savior is born, Christ the Lord.
So this week as we light the candle of JOY let us ponder these things in our hearts: Light, the spark of fire that brings a deep sense of warmth and joy on a cold night. Light, the gleam of the angel who told the shepherds the greatest news ever told. Light, the illumination that brings us joy, when all we see is darkness. JOY, the world didn’t give it, the world can’t take it away!
ACTION OF THE WEEK:
One of my favorite Shirley Caesar songs is entitled: “This Joy.” My favorite lyric from this song is a line that states “This joy I have, the world didn’t give it to me and the world can’t take it away!”
Believe me daily, people, situations, and things outside of our control try to take our joy. It seems that when all is going quite normal, a plot twist comes our way and tries to trip us up. If we are not careful, we let it.
Now, let’s be truthful; we all have our moments where we allow our joy to get kidnapped. However we should remember the words of good old Shirley, “the world didn’t give you YOUR joy and the world can’t take/steal it away!
Daily we must arm ourselves with the mindset that we will choose joy. We will choose to find the silver lining even in the midst of what seems a grey space. True joy is the realization that our joy is made complete through the power of Christ.
Choose joy. Keep a journal this week. Write about a joyful moment everyday this week.
God of Love, Peace, and JOY we thank you for this Advent season. We honor and give you thanks for being the JOY in our lives even in the midst of confusion. God as we embark upon this week and this season, help us to be JOY givers, Love bringers, Peace makers, and Light bearers. Remind us that the joy YOU give us is whole and complete; the world didn’t give it and it surely can’t take it away. Amen.
Blessings & JOY,
Rev. Christal Bell