Our Christmas joy reaches across the centuries, connecting us with the joy of those who experienced the first Christmas. How God’s people rejoiced at the prophecies announcing the Messiah! How Mary’s spirit soared at the heavenly message that she was chosen to bear God’s son! How the shepherd’s responded in joy to angelic glorias! How the magi joyfully bowed to offer gifts to the King of kings.
May every heart cry out in joy today knowing that God is with us, Emanuel, Jesus, born of Mary and lauded by the humble and the wise.
You may light the second candle.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight.
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear.
Take time for personal or family reflection. Remember a time or share with one another an experience or description of the joy of Jesus being Emanuel, God with us.
God, thank you for your son Jesus, who is the King of Kings. He has told us that his peace will come to us, just not as the world defines it. Lord, you are the one who sustains us when life feels chaotic. As Christmas approaches, help us to choose wisely ourselves in what we do and in our use of time in such a busy season. Keep us prayerful and fill us with the peace that you offer, so that we will share it with others. Amen.
Time to get out your Advent wreath or make one or buy one! Gather the family or use this as a personal devotion.
Today we begin the journey of Advent. Each week we will light a candle that reminds us to prepare out hearts for the coming of the Christ child, who is the light of the world.
This is our age old tradition that helps us to remember the promises of God which become ours in Jesus the Christ. Our memories of Christmas are but a small part of this great legacy. Over 2000 years have passed. Each Christmas is filled with prayers for hope and peace on earth. Over 2000 Christmas Days have dawned, each one bringing joy for people of good will.
There was a time before the first Christmas memory was born. There was a time when Christmas was only a prayer and a prophecy. It was a flame that burned from the altars of temples and in the hearts of God's people. Joy - was a promise - waiting to come true!
Scripture Reading Isaiah 51:4
Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples.
Personal Reflection - Take a moment to remember an experience of joy in your life when the promise made so long ago of a Messiah, became realized in your life.
Prayer - Lord, you are the one we’ve all waited for and were so grateful that you came to earth, for us, all those years ago. We thank you for having saved us and for the joy you made possible for us. Help us to remember this holiday season is about you. Give us your joy and help us to share it. Amen.
Joy to the World, that beloved Carol, will be our song for Advent. Enjoy the words of verse 1 once again:
Joy to the world
The Lord has come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and heaven and nature sing