In the penultimate week of our Advent devotions for 2023, our focus turns to a theme that sparkles amidst the anticipation: Joy. C.S. Lewis, a master of weaving profound truths into simple narratives, once wrote, “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” As we approach the celebration of Christ’s birth, let us delve into the serious business of joy, exploring its depth and significance in our Advent journey.
Understanding Joy in the Christian Faith
The narrative of joy in the Bible is as radiant as the star that shone over Bethlehem. It is a joy that echoed through the hills with the angels’ announcement and a joy that endures in the promise of salvation. Lewis captured this biblical essence of joy not as fleeting happiness but as a deep, abiding presence that shapes our faith. This Advent, we seek to understand and embrace this biblical joy, a joy that transcends mere emotion and becomes a cornerstone of our Christian walk.
Joy in the Midst of Challenges
In the year 2023, with its unique set of challenges and complexities, the pursuit of joy may seem daunting. Yet, the message of Advent reminds us that joy is often found in the most unexpected places and times. Lewis, who navigated his own path through difficult times, knew well that joy is not dependent on external circumstances but is a gift that springs from our deep relationship with God. This Advent, we are called to discover joy not as an escape from reality but as a celebration of a greater truth, the joyous reality of God’s love for us.
Cultivating Joy During Advent
How, then, can we cultivate this profound joy during Advent? The answer lies in embracing the simple yet profound aspects of our faith and life. Lewis often found joy in the ordinary – the beauty of nature, the depth of literature, the richness of friendship. Similarly, we can find joy in communal worship, in acts of kindness, in the quiet moments of prayer and reflection. As we light the third candle of Advent, let it be a reminder to seek and savor the joy in both the grand and the mundane, the spectacular and the everyday.
Reflecting and Sharing Joy
In a manner akin to Lewis’s reflective style, let’s ask ourselves: How does the joy of Advent manifest in our lives?
How can we be bearers of this joy to others?
As we anticipate the final week of Advent, focusing on Love, let’s remember that joy and love are deeply intertwined. They feed into and amplify each other, painting the full picture of the Advent devotions.
Embracing Joy: Conclusion
Drawing once more from the wisdom of C.S. Lewis: “All joy…emphasizes our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire.” This Advent, let our celebration of joy be more than a fleeting sentiment. Let it be a reminder of our journey towards the ultimate joy found in Christ. May these Advent devotions in 2023 guide us to a season where we not only embrace joy but also become vessels of joy to those around us.
We encourage you to share your experiences of joy during this Advent. How have you encountered joy in unexpected ways?