The third candle of Joy

16 Dec

This is the third Sunday of Advent and the candle we light is a symbol of JOY.  For me, joy, is that deep sense of God’s presence that comes to us even in difficult times to reminds us of God’s love, give us strength for the day, or begin healing in a time and place that seems beyond healing.

In these past days I have thought about and prayed for the people of Newtown, Conn. quite often.  It is overwhelming to think of their loss and grief.  I simple pray for them.  I pray for God grace and gentle healing spirit to be poured out upon them.  I pray that their love and strength can reclaim their school for what it is suppose to be, what it always should have been; a place of safety and learning and growing.

The psalm for the day is one of praise.  And since I believe a good way to go through any kind of day is by praising God, I like this one.

Applause, everyone. Bravo, bravissimo!
Shout God-songs at the top of your lungs!
God Most High is stunning,
astride land and ocean.
He crushes hostile people,
puts nations at our feet.
He set us at the head of the line,
prize-winning Jacob, his favorite.
Loud cheers as God climbs the mountain,
a ram’s horn blast at the summit.
Sing songs to God, sing out!
Sing to our King, sing praise!
He’s Lord over earth,
so sing your best songs to God.
God is Lord of godless nations—
sovereign, he’s King of the mountain.
Princes from all over are gathered,
people of Abraham’s God.
The powers of earth are God’s—
he soars over all.

I want to believe that there will be a time that God’s wisdom and love and justice and peace will rule over our world.  I want to believe it even through I don’t see it often.  Most of all, I want my life to be one that attempts to live that desired reality of God in this imperfect world.

I pray you will find the peace of God in this day  –  even in the midst of sadness and destruction  –  even in the midst of stress and lists and too much to do  –  even in the midst of doubt and uncertainty –  God’s joy is there waiting for us to turn to God.

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