3rd Sunday of Advent - Joy
by, 01-02-2010 at 04:13 AM (583 Views)
Forgot to post this one..
Fourth Sunday was cancelled for a blizzard and I took a break from my writing..
Today - the third Sunday in Advent – it’s getting down to the wire on shopping and wrapping. Ahh the joy and trials of getting ready for Christmas.
Today we will light the third candle of Advent, the Candle of Joy.
We often spend our lives looking for joy or happiness and do not recognize that it is not in having what we want, but in really wanting what we have, anticipating what we work towards and living in the blessings of the Lord.
When the Angels came to proclaim the Christ Child’s birth - They Said – Fear Not.. I bring you tidings of joy.
When the angel Gabriel came to Mary – He said “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God” and he told Mary that a special child would be
born to her. She was filled with joy. She sang a song
that began with the words: "My soul magnifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
This was in a time when an unwed mother would be scorned in a significant way and the presence of God was with her and yet she was filled with Joy.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the message which the angels spoke to the shepherds two thousand years ago is also spoken to us today. Our ears should be open and attentive to what the angel of the Lord is telling us. To celebrate Christmas is to hear the angel speaking to us: ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you tidings of great joy that will be for all people; a Saviour has been born to you’. It is a very simple message.
We live in a world of fear and anxiety. It is at this point that Christmas brings good news of great joy. ‘Fear not’ -- this was the message of Jesus throughout his ministry. He told his hearers, Fear not, do not be anxious about your life, what you should eat or what you should drink, nor what you should wear. He told them to look at the birds of the air; they neither sowed nor reaped nor gathered into barns, and yet without fail they were fed. Or again he said, ‘Fear not little flock, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom’. Jesus came to deliver us from fear and anxiety, from the fear of the unknown.
It is usually in the most normal things in life that we find our utmost joy, a spectacular sunset, a heartwarming movie, the birth of a child. Memories of loved ones, or Christmases past. Joy in new memories and Christmases present.
We often find great joy after great adversity. I believe that God uses these times of trouble to draw us closer to Him because with out Him - the joy is incomplete.
I recall the joy I felt at finding out I was pregnant with our first child. Now most women find this out in the privacy of their own home. For me it was the parking lot of a Thai restaurant and the news was delivered by an angel name June. She is the nurse at the fertility clinic. After years and years of fear and anguish, of procedures and prayers, a baby was coming, and over the course of the next 6 years, 2 more messages of glad tidings would be delivered by that same angle..
Christmas speaks of the joy that He is coming, has come and is with us still.
In his 2005 Advent welcome, Pope Benedict said,
"Joy is the true gift of Christmas, not the expensive gifts that call for time and money. We can communicate this joy simply: with a smile, a kind gesture, a little help, forgiveness. And the joy we give will certainly come back to us.…Let us pray that this presence of the liberating joy of God shines forth in our lives."
Be welcomed here in joy –