“I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy… down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart!”
This children’s song plays inside my head so often during the holidays. But I have to admit, sometimes the word that echoes through my mind is the “WHERE?” I look at the world around me. I look into my own heart and say “Where?” Where is the Joy? In the chaos of the busiest time of the year, our lives and our hearts get so cluttered that we lose sight of the Joy that came to the world at Christmas. We clutter our lives and our hearts with all of those crazy Christmas expectations that pull at us. We want to give the perfect Christmas gifts, have the perfect Christmas decorations, have perfectly behaved children in those perfect Christmas outfits. It is no wonder we lose sight of the JOY.
It is right there in the scripture that we will read again this week. The angel comes to the shepherd and says, “Behold, I bring you good news of great joy!” As Jeff reminded us last week, that good news is that God came to earth on Christmas night. Emmanuel, God-with-us. God IS with us. God is moving in the world and in our hearts. Will we take the time to recognize God at work? Is there still room in our lives, in our hearts, for what God is doing in the world this Christmas?
This Sunday we are talking about the JOY. Bring it on. And to get us all in the right mood, it is Christmas Sweater Sunday. There will be crazy sweaters, pretty sweaters, fun and not-so-pretty sweaters… you name it. As we always say, “all are welcome here.” Sometimes it is good not to take ourselves too seriously. The joy of Christmas is already here. We simply need to see it, receive it, “behold” it. So, this Sunday and every Sunday, we wear whatever will prepare your heart to feel the Joy of the season. We come and hear that old, old story one more time. We pray together, sing some carols together, and feel the love.
Grace and Peace at Advent,