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Advent #4 – Joy

December 24, 2013

The fourth candle of Advent is Joy, and he who has never experienced Joy is poor indeed. Joy lights the inhabitants of this world. Joy accompanies the birth of a baby, the laughter of children, the marriage of two harmonious souls, the satisfaction of a job well done. Joy finds its way in the Gospel.

The wise men went their way, and the star guided them to Bethlehem. It stopped over the place where Jesus lay. When they saw the star, they were filled with Joy. (Matthew 2: 9-10)

John the Baptist baptized Jesus, and a voice came from the heavens, “You are my dearly loved son, and you bring me great Joy.” (Mark 1:11)

The pregnant Elizabeth, carrying John the Baptist in her womb, told Mary, pregnant with Jesus, “When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for Joy. (Luke 1: 44)

Jesus said to his disciples before he left them, “You have sorrow now, but I will see you again:Then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that Joy.” (John 16:22)  (The capital j’s are mine.)

Jesus opened the door to living in the joy of God, for God saw earth’s plight and sent his son to make it right. God had put mankind in paradise, the Garden of Eden, but mankind soon alienated themselves from the God who created them, and there were consequences. Evil brings its own punishment, and doing good brings its own rewards. God simply wants us to love him, and with that love we will honor him with respect and fear To fully realize joy in this world we must love God, each other, and ourselves. 

The world is frustrating, and life is hard. Defiant and obstinate, we drift with our culture into disobedience. We are pulled into it, but love is the safety net that holds joy. We have the freedom to choose our attitude, to become a Scrooge or a Grinch or to become joyous and loving, a jovial Santa Claus with his “ho, ho, ho.” Which attitude sends us into despair or brings joy to our hearts?

Jesus promised to return to earth from heaven and restore joy. Although we do not know God’s timing, we trust his word, and the promise brings joy. The perfect child grew up to be the perfect man, serving his Father with his life. At Christmas we remember the Child of God and all the children of God with joy. Jesus, our savior, came to the world to bring us back to God. Celebrating his birth reminds us of the promise, the glory, and the joy of a God-centered life.

Faith, hope, joy, and love usher Christmas day.

We worship the baby boy who taught us how to pray.

With faith we know, with hope we wait

With love we show our joy is great.

A joyous Christmas to all my readers!

We will return to “The Story” Chapter 12 next week and continue to Breeze Through the Bible.




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