Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Advent 3 - Joy



Luke 2:8-11
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.


Joy!  A leaping spirit.  A heart in song.  A child bursting with laughter.  When the angel delivers the message of the coming Christ, there can be only one result – Joy!  The gospel isn’t a story about Christ, Christ is the gospel.  He is the good news.  He is our reason for shouting, because he has made all things new.  All people new.  God’s story is a story of celebration.  A feast.  A party.  God’s story is a story of the most generous King giving everything to the most unworthy of people.  The story being told is good news that should cause great joy for all the people.  If there is no joy in our telling, the problem isn’t with the story, but with those of us telling it.  We light this candle with Joy, so that its light may flicker and dance like our hearts in Christ – free and warm and glowing, resonating joy.

There is a greater story being told, and as it spreads from person to person, it carries Joy alongside.  The gospel brings with it joy as long as it is delivered by a people of joy.

Prayer God of joy, our hearts leap at the good news you delivered so long ago through your messenger.  May our lives burst forth with a shout that cannot be contained – Our God reigns!  Our God saves!  Our God comes!  As we continue in our Advent, help us to wait in Joyful expectation of what is to come.  Help us to look back on your promises fulfilled, and to look inward at your blessings on our lives, so that we can look forward with joy to a great tomorrow.  We joy in your presence, in your Spirit, and in your work in our lives, Amen.

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