Joy: Third week of Advent

12/17/2014  Farmville Enterprise

In his Confessions Augustine wrote “without exception … all try their hardest to reach the same goal, that is, joy.”  I’d say this is still true after sixteen hundred years. How can we help ourselves to be more joyful? Some joy-inspiring practices are the same ones we use to become more full of peace.  We must focus on God’s goodness and love and try to relax in his provision. We must remember that God is sovereign.

Another huge help in developing a joyful spirit is giving thanks. Ann Voskamp wrote all about this in her wonderful book One Thousand Gifts. “As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning –now; wherever, meaning –here. The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be – unbelievably – possible! The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now.”

I’ve always loved the lyrics by songwriter Michael Card which say “There is a joy in the journey, there’s a light we can love on the way. There is a wonder and  wildness to life, and freedom for those who obey.” This third week in Advent let us go out in joy.  We have great reason to celebrate!   “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:10-12)

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