Joy and laughter, gladness, and mirth are the high notes of today.This Sunday marks the ascent of the heart towards what we usually think of as the “Christmas season”.
The first weeks view of the times of the history and prophetic words of the Old Testament had notes of repentance. In them we saw that a Savior was needed.
In the second week the message of peace outlined the nature of the coming Savior. The tone is of reconciliation between a loving Father and the scattered family. We begin to mend, in our relationships, in our minds and soul.
Making Room for Happiness
Now, it time to prepare our hearts to be happy. Advent is a time of preparation, and it might be a surprise to think that we are often unready for happiness- that we must get ready for it, make room for it.
Happiness often seems like a state of mind that comes most naturally. I think it was originally meant to be like that. However, so many of us get used to complaining, or live in recognition only of pain and disappointments that we lose the capacity for joy.
Today we look to bring space for joy into our lives through gratitude and thankfulness. Those are often the pathway to a contented attitude that allows the “Glad Tidings” to dwell permanently in our heart. Not just a few days or weeks in December, but a living habit.
A Page from Wisdom
For our focus we are going to take the symbol of a crown, and the example of Solomon. He contributes books of wisdom to our Bible and his story allows us to see the blessings God has planned for his people.
Solomon ruled during the Golden age of Israel, no other king inherited the land and wealth, or left so exalted a reputation as Solomon. His people prospered under his rule, and he maintained peace for them. He wasn’t perfect, but a left a lasting legacy of wisdom. We regularly benefit from the Proverbs that are collected in the scripture book of that name.
Not many people have the opportunity to explore all the usual things that they think will make them happy, but Solomon managed it. At the end of his experiences he said this:
8 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them, for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil, this is a gift of God.
In other words, be thankful for the good things you have.
Do you make it a habit to count your blessings? Or cultivate contentment by enjoying the good of your life, in friendships, in daily life, in family, and other forms of wealth? It may lead to greater happiness than efforts to accumulate more.
O Come All Ye Faithful – follow the link for words and video performance.
Here is another performance to listen to:
Dear Father in Heaven,
We wish to make room for happiness in our hearts by considering all that we are grateful for in our lives today. We wish to make room for your Son’s presence by moving out the busyness, worries, and plans for filling our lives with yet more things, and all the stuff of the world’s concerns.
We wait for you to join us this Christmas season, as we make time for you, as we invite Jesus into our hearts and lives, today.
Help us make room for joy this week, beginning now.
We give you thanks for hearing us, and answering in Jesus name, Amen.