Wednesday, December 9, 2015

And Wonders of His Love

The birth of the Saviour is cause for great joy throughout the world. And heaven and nature should sing because the Lord is come, and reigns, and rules! The famous Christmas Carol encourages us to sing of this great joy and “fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains” will join us in “the sounding joy.” Let’s not forget, however, that the real joy come at the resurrection.

It is challenging these days to be a joyful person, so let’s be clear about joy. It is not about being a happy all the time and it is not about being oblivious to the real pain and grief people experience in the world. Joy is about being aware that in the midst of all that pain and grief there are still signs of hope and love. There is still the presence of God in each and every moment. Not a second passes without God’s knowledge and grace.

People might think Christians sing the carol, “Joy to the World” as if pain and grief don’t matter. We sing of joy because Christ’s reign, Christ’s death and resurrection heralds hope and love for the world. True joy acknowledges pain and grief and balances them out with hope and love. We pray that, “every heart prepare him room…” That is when we come to know the wonders of his love.

The pink candle is the third candle to be lit on the Advent wreath. For many centuries the third Sunday was known as Gaudete, or Joy Sunday. The weeks prior to Christmas are penitential too, similar to Lent, and are a way of preparing for the coming of Christ (into the world and into our hearts). Each Sunday reminds us of the joy of the resurrection, and Gaudete Sunday is not different. We celebrate the joy of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus who brings the salvation of all creation. 

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