Sunday Dec. 11, 2022
This is the third Sunday of Advent. The season is moving along quickly. If you are anything like me, you are feeling even more behind than you usually feel! No, our tree is not up yet. For one thing, or maybe two, we have been distracted by plumbing problems in both of our bathrooms. No, we haven’t had to resort to using the bushes in the backyard or the hose in the side yard to shower – yet. It’s always something, isn’t it?
This third Sunday of Advent, we light the candle on the Advent wreath that represents joy. Joy to the world. Tidings of comfort and joy. With so much to do, so much pressure, so much stress, and so much pain in our lives and in the world around us, can we muster joy?
The gospels tell us that the presence of Christ brings joy. Period. This does not appear to be contingent upon outward circumstances. That’s happiness. Happiness depends on current conditions. But joy is something that is given. And it’s on the inside not dependent on the outside. And it is contagious. Infectious. We spread it and share it and others catch it from us and we get it from others. It’s not about getting what you want. Or even having what you need. It’s an inner state that emanates out to others and the world. Regardless of the circumstances. So that even at a very sad time, such as the death of a loved one, we can still experience joy as a fundamental state of being.
As a child, I had a Christmas book called Take Joy by Tasha Tudor. Just the title is a reminder that joy is being given to us. We don’t even have to seek it. We just have to accept and acknowledge it.
Today, light your third Advent candle and take joy.
May we remember that even when things are difficult we are being given joy, at all times, in all circumstances. May we receive this precious gift infusing our reality regardless of the challenges we are facing. And may we freely share it with others. Amen.