In the Christian tradition, JOY is the theme of the third week of Advent, the four-week series of spiritual preparation before Christmas.
Christmas is a joyful celebration of the birth of the baby Jesus, God’s entry into the world.
Traditionally, the candle which is lit on the third Sunday of Advent is pink. Why the pink candle? The color pink was selected to be a reminder of the spirit of Lent, with its mixture of joys and sorrows and in particular its joy of the resurrection.
Joy and woe are indeed interwoven in our lives. During the Advent season, we take time to reflect on our lives, the blessings and the challenges. It is tempting to face these unevenly. Sometimes we dwell exclusively on the challenges, the sacrifices, the pain. Other times, we deny the pain and jump to joy with a quick bypass.
We need Advent to get back to balance. With faith in God’s amazing grace and love for us, we are called to face the realities . . . the pain, the downturns . . . within the context of the joy that God’s gift of Christmas brings and will always bring.
JOY is all around us, in the sounds of music, the happy faces of the children, the beautiful decorations and lights. Joy is a choice, made by opening our hearts and trusting in God’s love.
Original article by The Rev. Lee Cruise