We begin our Advent journey by lighting the first candle on the Advent wreath. As we watch its flame dance, think about the joy that Scripture speaks of: a joy that doesn’t mean happiness. Rather consider the joy that comes to any heart that knows no matter what circumstances we face, we do not face them alone — Emmanuel, God with us, is indeed with us.

Spend time this week reflecting on where you have experienced such joy. How did it comfort you in seasons of sadness, grief or hopelessness? How can you share that understanding of joy with others?