December – 2018
Advent joy and blessings to all of you!
As we enter the season of Advent, an anticipatory time before Christmas, ‘let every heart prepare him room,’ as we make room in our hearts and our homes for Christmas joy.
I recently heard that the least expensive time to buy a Christmas tree is on Christmas Eve, when the price of an evergreen tree can be as much as half the cost it would have been for all the rest of December. The reason, of course, is that no one in the U.S. waits until Christmas Eve to purchase and put up a tree, however (I’m told) that putting up the Christmas tree is traditionally done on the 24th of December in Germany. We in America do things way earlier than that.
Many of us can’t wait for the Christmas tree to arrive.
I struggle with finding the right balance in the month of December. Part of me wants to buy all the perfect gifts, put out the Christmas letter early, bake an enormous amount of goodies. And the other part of me wants to relax and remember that if you have your family and your health, you have everything.
How to keep the sentiments balanced is always a struggle and I never seem to find the perfect solution.
That’s why I landed on the theme of joy for my sermons this Advent season. That elusive state of being, joy, is something we want all year long, but especially in this season. We all want joy. How do we find joy? How can we cultivate it to be a constant in our lives? Can it be a regular feature of our daily living?
Joy often simply comes to us in the moment. But there are ways we can cultivate joy in our lives. One way is to spend time in quiet, looking at the lights, or remembering a happy, joyful moment in time. Another way to find joy is in a room full of family and friends, celebrating and sharing the love with which we hold one another. Another way to find joy is to come to worship with people who are also seeking joy and who are finding it in their relationship with God. Worship is a great way to find joy.
This Advent season, may you find joy—in the simple things, in your closest relationships, in times of worship and song—so that you can spread joy to a world sorely in need of good tidings of great joy.
God bless us all,