Anticipation lifts the heart. Desire is created to be fulfilled – perhaps not all at once, more likely in slow stages…a softening of hard-heartedness, a lively expectation, would herald the coming of Messiah. And once again, in this season of Advent, the same promise of the Anointed One is coming closer.
This week in worship we will light the JOY candle on the Advent wreath – that’s the pink candle. Other than the Christ candle, this candle stands out against the background of purple which blankets the Advent season. It represents the joy we have in Christ, joy even on our worst days. It represents the joy we have while we wait for Christ and the joy we know in Christ.
We anticipate joy: We anticipate the joy on the faces of our loved ones when they open gifts on Christmas morning. We anticipate the joy of time together. We anticipate the joy of a time when illness will no longer impact the bodies and minds of the ones we love. We anticipate the joy of the time when hatred, idolatries, politics, racism, and sexism which so often separate us into categorizes that minimize our God-given dignity are no more. We anticipate the joy of Easter morning, when Christ triumphs over the grave. We anticipate the joy of a time which we cannot know, which we cannot see, but in which we confidently trust that God in Jesus Christ will right every wrong. How do we hold this joy in a world which is filled with so much suffering? It’s a question the Church has asked throughout the ages. Our hope and our joy are found in Christ alone, who knows us and who loves us so fiercely that he could not stay away. Joy is not simply a feeling, but a posture, a way of living, confident in the knowledge that Christ loves us.
I want to draw your attention to a few deadlines in the life of the church this week: 1)The St. Gregory’s gift card deadline is this week. Bring your gift cards to the church ASAP! 2) Poinsettia orders are due by December 15th – the link is below. 3) The first floor of the manse will be open for an Advent open house this Saturday, December 11th from 1-3pm. Come on by for some Advent fellowship!
Grace and Peace,