On this fourth Sunday of Advent, we light the Candle of Joy.
Christmas is a season of joy. It’s a season for family, friends, food.. And presents under the tree! But all these things are temporal and cannot bring true joy. Certainly we should be thankful that God has blessed so abundantly! But in the midst of these things, let us never forget the source of true and unending joy.
The nativity story is filled with vivid expressions of this joy – there’s Mary, who exclaimed “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior”… the Angels declaring to the Shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” And the Wise Men, who “when they saw the star, rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.”
This joy was a recognition that Jesus, stepping into history, was the messiah that the scriptures long foretold. For this reason, we can truly join in with the Psalmist who wrote:
“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”Psalm 100
(Photo Credit: Jonathunder)