As we approach our 3rd Sunday in December, we continue waiting in this season of Advent. We sit in the unknown, aware of our own stress, the challenges around us, war in the world. And in such difficult times, we might wonder – how can we find joy? When is the time for celebrating?
God builds joy into our lives – sometimes squeezing it into the most unexpected places. Advent actually has JOY built right into it on the 3rd Sunday!
Now, just in case you don’t know this about me, perfection is not one of my goals. Ever. I'm big on process and the adventure of the journey. So, I can really appreciate that the Christmas story is not perfect. It is a story full of complications and uncertainty. It is, in fact, a journey that we are all on - together. We are waiting with hope for the coming of the Messiah. We are on the dusty, rocky, and uneven roads to Bethlehem. We are tired… We are longing for some hope, yearning for peace, seeking joy...
We are looking for room - nothing fancy, just anywhere to rest, when there seems to be no space for us. We are finding comfort in simplicity and respite in unexpected places.
When all seems unmanageable and overwhelming, we find joy in celebrating a baby, born into this complicated and imperfect world. When all seems darkest, we are given this gift of JOY. Amidst all the waiting and wondering, we find ourselves on this journey, stopping for just a moment to hold joy in our hearts. The joy of remembering, together, the birth of a tiny baby, born in a stable.
On Sunday, we will remember the Christmas Story together with our Christmas Pageant. That’s some joy, right there! The joy of children crawling around on the chancel, the joy of lines spoken by brave readers into microphones, the joy of sheep, and donkeys, and cheetahs, and shepherds, all gathered together around a new family.
The joy of singing and playing and remembering that we are not on this journey alone. We are together, singing with hope, praying for peace, and celebrating in joy as we remember this meaningful, challenging, and imperfect journey. May we bring our whole selves, whoever we are at this very moment - our messy, complicated, imperfect, and beautiful selves.
I look forward to worshipping with you and celebrating this Sunday of JOY!
With love, always,