Joy to the World?

I think it’s appropriate that the theme of the third Sunday of Advent is “Joy.”
Right about now, in the crazy, busy preparations of the season, I need to slow down and remember: Joy.

But joy can be strangely difficult to find.

What joy is there in agonizing over the best gift to select for each person. (Will she like it? Will it be good enough? This is so tiring and I haven’t even headed to the mall.) Where is joy in not having time to bake the prettiest, yummiest cookies. (Will my kids/friends hate me for not producing?) And the Christmas tree? Still.not.up.yet.

Christmas is about joy? Have I have fallen victim to the Christmas blahs?

I’ve allowed a heart-takeover; an unrealistic view of what Christmas should look like. I have forgotten the true “joy” of Christmas.

It is a struggle in today’s world, to keep Advent focused on religious tradition. I need to turn from these nagging, guilty feelings and remember the real reason for joy:

Love came among us.

God must have been so excited on the first Christmas! Finally, the time was here, the time that had been planned for, since the beginning! Finally he would come amidst his people and be the one to teach them all about radical love.

I need that reminder: joy.

Joy banner

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room…

Our family together, will be a worthy substitute for plates full of cookies.
The gifts will be mostly radical.
And the tree will be put up, eventually. Maybe.

What are you doing to focus on real joy?


— Carol

Photo credits:
Photos are from my archives.

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