Today is the third Sunday of Advent. Churches and Homes around the world will light the pink candle of Joy. This is the season of anticipation of the arrival of the Christ child. Of course this is symbolic as we know he came long ago. For believers this also represents the anticipation of his second coming.
Joy takes us to No room at the Inn where we, like the Shepherds of long ago, find the Christ child in a stark stable where our joy is rooted. Today, I share an advent devotional with you that I wrote for the Fern Creek Baptist Church Advent Devotional Booklet a few years ago.
Joy Came Down at Christmas
The joy of Christmas is set against the bitter cold of no room at the inn. It is reflected in the brightness of the star that shone into the starkness of the stable only to become a mere reflection compared to the great love that was lying in the manger.
Joy catches the light of the Savior’s love and penetrates deep into our soul to fill us with unspeakable majesty. We cannot fathom it, but even in our deepest despair it is there as the foundation on which all our hope is built, pointing the way to eternity.
An eternity made possible by the darkest hour in all of history, when the love born in the stable was hung on a cross and joy sliced through the sorrow of our sin and brought freedom to our souls.
Joy and sorrow have always resided on opposite sides of the same coin. You cannot have one without the other. Joy remembered makes sorrow bearable and sorrow reflected in the pool of joy rides on wings of hope and restores our faith.
Even when the world doesn’t see joy, there is comfort in knowing that it is all around us in the presence of the one who came so long ago for the very purpose of bringing us the gift of joy. That is why we can shout from the depths of our souls: “Joy to the World”.
Finding joy in grace,