Reflections 14 Dec 2003
3rd Sunday of Advent
What Jesus Came to Say
Do you find it easy to feel joy?
Ever since Advent has been celebrated the third of the four Sundays has borne an emphasis upon rejoicing, or joy. For this it has the title 'Gaudate Sunday', from the Latin for 'rejoice', the first word of the commonly-used introit for this day, "Rejoice in the Lord always".
The emotion of joy does not equal 'happy'. Joy is a deep emotion. It is clear that our lives can be joy through our circumstances be difficult. Even in hardship or sorrow, there can remain a sense of life's value and worth. Joy is like the still waters unaffected by what is happening on the surface.
Young Mary is perhaps the Christmas story's example of this. Though Luke tells us Mary was "greatly troubled by the angle's message" (1:29), the Gospel also records that she embraced the will of God and was so able to sing her wonderful song of praise, "Now does my heart rejoice and my soul is glad because of God my saviour, for God has remembered me, his lowly servant."
Are you like Mary, or do you need all things to go exactly according to plan to find joy? They won't. Yet that doesn't mean that you aren't still richly blessed by God.
This Christmas, take your life to yourself. Whatever its hard edges be. And let God know of your rejoicing. Do it now - take a moment just to tell God, "I accept. And I'm glad".
- Where do you find God?
- What is your response to the God you encounter?