December 7, 2008
The Second Advent Candle is the ‘Candle of Joy’
Scripture for today:
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
Thoughts on Joy:
At Christmas we celebrate the fact that Jesus has come, God has sent His Only Begotten Son to the earth. But there is a sense in which God’s Son must be born again in us, and at Advent we recognize our need to respond to God’s gift. Christ must be formed in us, who have believed.
And it is that thought with which to look at what gave Jesus joy: it was his disciples experiencing the Kingdom of God in their lives.
Experiencing victory over evil. When we light the candle of joy, we can rejoice that the light overcomes the darkness, and illuminates our souls.
“Father, let your joy sprout forth in my life anew, today.”
“We pray that light would spring up within us, that we might have the joy that comes from you. We ask that we may experience your Kingdom within us and that we may bring your Kingdom to others, freeing them from their bondage and despair. Let us desire to give you joy and take our joy in doing your good works during this season of our lives. Amen.”
What is more joyful than singing? Let your heart sing today and join together to sing the carols, “Joy to the World”, “Good Christian Men, Rejoice”, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. A hymn such as “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”:
1. Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee,
Opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!
2. All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.
3. Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.
4. Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.