Today begins the third week of the Advent season: a time to meditate on and revel in the JOY which the Lord brings! When the angels announced the birth of the Messiah to the shepherds, they immediately went to Him and they rejoiced. Those shepherds are a model for us: we should run to Him and rejoice!
Unfortunately, joy seems fleeting when we look at it only through the lens of this world. When we depend on material, worldly things to give us joy, we will never be satisfied, never be filled. There will always be something missing: we get a good job, but want a better one; get a new car, want a nicer one; get our first house, want a bigger one; and so on. That is because true joy can only be found in the Reason for this Season…salvation through and relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Through that relationship with Jesus one way we can find the JOY of the Lord is when we lay our burdens at His feet. Remember that Jesus commanded us to do just that: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Give your cares to Him today and be lifted up in His JOY!
If you have an Advent wreath, light up the first three candles: the purple “Prophet’s Candle,” which represents the hope of Jesus’ coming; the purple “Bethlehem Candle,” which represents the peace which His birth brings; and this week’s pink candle, the “Shepherd’s Candle,” representing the JOY of the Lord. Take time to read and consider the following verses:
Pray: Thank You, Jesus, for being the Light of the world. We live in dark times; please help me to seek Your Light and find Your joy even in troubled times. Help me to shine brightly for You and to point people to Your love. Although You are my friend, Jesus, help me to fully understand what it means to have You as my King. Show me how to worship You with my treasures, my talents, and my time. When people try to rise up against me, thank You for Your protection, Your guidance, and Your direction. Your timing is perfect, Your joy is complete; give me eyes to see how true that is. In Your Name we pray, Amen!
Give your cares to Him and rest in the JOY of the Lord!