The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice.
In the midst of darkness as the sun sinks to its lowest point, in the midst of the longing and hope of advent, we are reminded to rejoice. We can rejoice because we know that what we hope for has already happened. The Divine has been made visible. The Mystery we call God has been known in Jesus. Although, as Christians, we believe that through Jesus God has been known most fully, we also believe that God is revealed through all creation. We rejoice because the Light of the World has come and still shines in the darkness of this world. We join with the “desert and parched land” hoping for them to bloom again and we embrace each facet of creation as a revelation of the God who is already with us.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!
Try to live aware of God’s presence everywhere. How do you see God in the teaching of Jesus? How do you see God in creation? How consistent are your beliefs and actions with this?
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy…
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear; your God will come…
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures,
even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that,
when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved.
Creation is the primary revelation of God.
Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.
Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,
Christ comes uninvited.
I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!
It is now, at Advent, that I am given the chance to suspend all expectation…and instead to revel in the mystery.
Jerusalem Jackson Greer
Joy is not necessarily the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God.
True joy results when we become aware of our connectedness to everything.
To be human is nothing less than to be caught in the great congested pilgrimage of existence and to join ourselves freely to it in the face of the evidence of its never-ending troubles.