May the grace of Christ be with you.
It is particularly more important and significant that we, as the body of Christ and those in our world turn to this Advent season with great hope, faith and anticipation of our celebration of the birth of Christ.
The first Sunday of Advent celebrated the prophecy in Isaiah 9:2 “The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.”
Today, with our attention help raptly by a world gone crazy, we need hope, and we have seen the darkness and we need the light of the Gospel, the good news, to give us hope.
On the second Sunday of Advent, we have seen the light and now we see the great love that God has for us by sending Jesus to earth in human form. Great love demands great sacrifice, and we see the love that Mary and Joseph had for their unborn child, the love that God had for his chosen ones by fulfilling the prophecy and the great hunger that we have for unconditional love.
This week, we refocus our attention on the great joy faith in God can give.
In the words of Isaiah 61:3-4, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because the Lord has anointed me: to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of faint spirit.”
In the midst of great trials, God promises us joy so that we can rejoice because the Spirt of the Lord (Holy Spirit) is upon us. Real joy is not fleeting, like winning a sports championship because the next season starts tomorrow or the exhilaration at finding a great deal at a store. No, real joy lasts forever because it is built on that which is eternal, immutable and unconditional.
Look for real joy in the only place and person it can be found, Jesus of Nazareth.
Tim Lasiuta is a Red Deer writer, promoter and historian and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Advocate accepts submissions from all denominations.