Advent Reflections 2020

Friday 18th December 2020

 

‘Joy to the world the Lord has come’ is the first line of Isaac Watts’ hymn which we sing with enthusiasm, but what does the word JOY mean? 

One definition is ‘a feeling of great delight or pleasure’. 

How can we see this feeling manifest during Advent? The time of waiting? It is far more evident when we arrive at Christmas but there is JOY throughout the season for the Prophets, John the Baptist, Mary and all God’s people. 

On the third Sunday we think of John the Baptist, ‘Laetare Day’ when we are invited by St Paul to ‘Rejoice in the Lord always’ and light the rose-pink candle for JOY. The musical ‘Godspell’ opens with a shadowy figure entering singing the haunting solo ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord’ very reverently but abruptly the mood changes and the music becomes a dance of JOY. A different way of presenting the familiar text emphasises that John, the messenger experienced JOY in his vocation. Even before he was born Luke tells how he leaps in Elizabeth’s womb when Mary discloses that she is pregnant with Jesus. It must have been so frustrating for Zechariah not to have been able to share his intense JOY knowing that his son would be so important in God’s plan. The JOY that John felt continued into adult life and we read John 3 v 29 how he compares himself to a best man waiting with the bridegroom for the bride’s arrival ‘This JOY. This perfect JOY is mine. As He grows greater I must grow less’. 

The JOY of John the Baptist is the JOY of a humble, chosen man who certainly knew what God’s plans were for him and he carried them out. 

Is there JOY in your heart as we celebrate Advent and put that JOY into action? Read John 3 v 16 to be reassured!!!!


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