Sunday, December 16, 2018

Advent Joy

Joy to The World
The Lord is come!
Let earth proclaim her King!

Advent Joy is filling us who trust in God that on a dark and common, ordinary night God Came near. VERY difficult in pain, but wisdom is born of pain.
“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 the, ‘“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. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”’ 
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel praising God and saying,
‘“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rest.”’

We light the pink candle of Joy and passion in the midst of darkness, sadness or fear or faith. Gaudette Sunday Roman Catholic Mass would start quoting Philippians 4:4-5 saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness or moderation be known to all for the Lord is near.”  Great verse, but certainly no easy!

Nehemiah after courageously rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem under great duress and assault as well as the hearts, courage and strength of the Israelites called a Sacred Assembly of all the people saying, “The joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

James, the brother (half) of Jesus in his epistle of practical wisdom writes, 
“Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters when you come into trials of all kinds. Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask of God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it shall be given to him. But he who asks must believe and not doubt… he is double-minded and unstable and will receive nothing”

Yes, we gather in quiet darkness, seeking the light that came and comes again into a dark world. As we do we might know that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. As we wait in the Advent Season of Light in patient expectation let us seek the light while it is near and find it. As we wait for the True Light of Christmas, Christ the Messiah, let us remain, as the Apostle Paul said,
“Joyful in hope; patient in affliction and faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12). 

The Prophet Habakkuk, 600 years before Messiah’s incarnation wrestled with God yet wrote,
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,    and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
    and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
    and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord!    I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength!    He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    able to tread upon the heights. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Let us now pray for the afflicted, lonely, sad, poor and needy and broken as well  as the up and out through the hopeful JOY of the Advent Light:
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing

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