When my boys were little and I was in Bible Study Fellowship, I learned about the advent calendar and candles. We made our advent wreath and lit our candles, reading the scriptures each day. Some of my sweetest Christmas memories are of the boys listening intently, blowing out the candles, and waiting for the Christ candle.
If I had a candle to light, this week’s candle is the Joy candle. It is week three of advent. A time to rejoice the third candle is to remind us that Jesus’ birth is a time to celebrate and a time to be joyful. Psalm 97: 11-12 says, “Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.”
JOY- Jesus, Other, and You are how I have always thought of the word JOY. Joy’s defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Synonyms for joy are a delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, rapture. Joy is Jesus. How does the birth of Jesus give us joy? Jesus is my Lord and Savior, He is our Great and High Priest, Reading Hebrews 4:14 says, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” Because of Jesus birth, death, and resurrection, we have direct access to God, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me, according to John 14:6. He is our mediator between man and God. 1 Timothy 2:5 says, ‘For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,”
This year’s Christmas looks different for me, I will not be with my sons as I am in Oklahoma settling my earthly father’s estate. This was to be my first Christmas with my dad so I have some sadness so perhaps it is good to not be around my grandchildren. I spoke to my youngest granddaughter last night and I experienced sheer joy. Every year I have bought my granddaughter’s Christmas Eve dresses so Doug and I traveled to Oklahoma City to find a dress that is older looking since she is a tween. She said, “Grandma, I love the dress and it twirls.” Then she shared she has finished reading the Bible I gave her. Out of the mouth of a baby, I told her I would get her an older Bible soon. I will be with local family and I am going to share JOY and I am sure there will be a few tears as we miss my father this first Christmas.
JOY ideas drive and look at Christmas lights, watch a Christmas movie, listen to Christmas music and move, write a love letter to Jesus thanking Him for leaving heaven and being willing to be born a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, give a gift to someone not expecting the gift, and or write your favorite verses on index cards and give one to a stranger.
Father God, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for the joy you give us. Help each one of us look to Jesus for our completeness and joy.
What do you need to do to add JOY to your life?
In what ways can we spread the joy of Christmas to others?