Joy at Center Stage

Yes, its already the last day of the third week of Advent, and fully engaged in all the activities that accompany this season and a few that shouldn’t, has translated into less participation in the Johannine Advent blog than originally anticipated. But unlike some past advents and the complexity they bring, I’ve refused to succumb to the “bah humbug” spirit. You know, all the stuff (spend, spend, spend, go, go, go, party, party, party) that constantly bombards our life and schedule in an attempt to engulf and snuff out the joy of the season.

Joy is the advent word that seems to get less play than the others (hope, peace, love), not only during this season, but throughout the year; than again this might just be me, the only one who thinks joy receives the short end of the stick in relation to the other words of advent. It just seems the other three receive more attention; particularly “love.” Plenty of conversations concerning hope. A renewed hope in the future, or how to possess hope in the midst of the times we are living in. And what often spurs hope, is the desire for peace. Most everyone desperately desires peace — certainly not war. Peace becomes the topic of conversation when the Iraq war is mentioned, and sometimes even when it’s not. Many are seeing the necessity of being peacemakers for those who would consider themselves followers of Christ. And from this synchroblog the second week of Advent of peace – just might have received the most attention so far. And do I really need to mention “love” – just kidding. But no other advent word has a whole chapter from Scripture (1 Corinthians 13) as its entire focus.

I suppose my bias is showing, but for a moment I want to bring joy to center stage. I’m captivated this advent with the realization that joy is part of our inheritance as Christ-followers, not just this season, but all seasons. The following examples have reinforced this wonderful reality for me.

The Christmas Carol for this week, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen closes each verse with the phrase; O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy. O tidings of comfort and joy.

The angel’s words in Luke 2:10;
I bring you good
news of great joy

The Hymn Joy to the World the Lord has come; let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing.

Isaiah 9:7 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows — light! sunbursts of light! You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy. Oh, they’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of great-celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings. (The Message)

Psalm 16:11 ………. in your presence is fullness of joy.

The Magi’s response on seeing the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.

John the Baptist leaped for joy in his mother womb when she heard Mary’s greeting. (Lk 1:44)

I want to be a messenger saying to one and all, O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy, O tidings of comfort and joy. May we be reminded that it is part of our inheritance in the here and now of Advent 2007. Have a “Joy-filled Christmas.

Other Johannine Advent bloggers


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: