[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he third candle of the Advent wreath is lit today, it is the Candle of Joy. This week the theme is “Discovery”, and every day I hope we discover something more of the presence of God in our lives.
What Is The Presence Of God?
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]omeone’s presence is their person being right there with you. If you enter the “presence” of the King, then you are standing in his courtroom and you can him and he can see you. That is what God would like for us to experience, not just on special occasions, but everyday. And that is what we mean when we pray for Jesus to come into our hearts. We are asking God to be with us everyday, and we are inviting Him to be a part our lives at all times.
Before Jesus came, people felt very far from God -and that often happens now. It doesn’t have to be that way, though (which is what the “Good News” is about). With Jesus as Our Lord, and the Holy Spirit staying with us we don’t ever have to be alone, or asking God to come help us from somewhere far away.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
Big People Section
[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ow different might our days be, if we just remembered that Jesus is present with us in all our situations, our thoughts and inner conversations? Would we be more positive and hopeful? Would we feel happier knowing that someone truly understood us and what we are going through internally?
We see it as a sign of strength to “go it alone”, but is it really? What does that actually mean?
In its beneficial sense, I believe it means we are growing into the full stature of our abilities, but in its detrimental form we think we have to shoulder every burden and challenge on our own.
No one is actually capable of that.
[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ook around your table, for a moment. Consider how you are dependent on the individuals there. Sometimes we receive things from others which we don’t fully appreciate, and that is where the idea that we don’t need someone in our life comes from, I think. We underestimate and diminish what others contribute to our lives.
Often, we are not a good judge of what we need or don’t need when it comes to qualities in others.
This week is a focus on discovering, more about God’s presence and also more of God’s presence. A side effect will be our levels of joy, although be forewarned… that is measured by the attention we put into seeking to know more of God this week. We love to be “joy-bombed” and sometimes that happens, but we don’t have to wait for intermittent and unexpected experiences of this fruit of the spirit. Sometimes ripe fruit falls on your head, but the most reliable source is to cultivate it. And that is exactly what I have in mind: that we cultivate the presence of God.
After all, that is what Jesus came for, it is woven into his name, Immanuel.
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. ~ Isaiah 7:14
What Child Is This?
Feature photo credit: by photoann