December 15

Reflection

This week in Advent we are called to be joyful. It is a hard time to be joyful in this country. Our hearts are heavy. So many of our fellow Americans have died from this virus, so many are ill. There is also a malaise of distrust and unacceptance of the factual that is just as deadly to us. It separates us and incites us to anger. Yet, the season calls us to ”rejoice and give thanks in all circumstances”. Joy isn’t giddiness. This rejoicing isn’t so much a matter of feelings as it is of actions. In order to be more joyful, we have to work at it.  Bad things will happen in the world, but they cannot derail us. Joy is an attitude toward life. Joy is our witness to hope.  Advent joy is a response to what God has done in Jesus Christ.

Prayer

Rejoice always.

Action

How can your actions help to create a spirit of joy in the present circumstances?  What specific thing can you do to keep alive a hopeful spirit for yourself and others?  How can you combat deadening falsehoods?

Suggested Reading

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks.
1Thess 5:16

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
 Psalm 126:5-6

Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.
 Pierre de Chardin

We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.
Joseph Campbell

Joy blooms where minds and hearts are open.
Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Joy is not in things; it is in us.
Richard Wagner

I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace – a connection to what matters.
Oprah Winfrey

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
Karl Barth

Change the way you think and you will change the way you feel.
Charmaine Smith Ladd


Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… It’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.
Chuck Palahniuk

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