Thursday, December 12, 2013

Advent - Week 3 - Joy

Scriptures
Isaiah 35:1-10
Luke 1:46-55
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

In the third week of Advent we focus on the joy of the return of the Lord. The passages this week continue with the idea of Christ coming as a judge, yet we as the faithful take joy in that idea that when he comes, the world will be the one of justice we should be striving for today.

Isaiah and Luke both give us examples of celebration. In Isaiah we hear of the earth, the natural creation, celebrating God’s presence. Mary’s ecstatic response to being chosen fills the verses in Luke. I can only imagine how transformed we would be if we could celebrated with the joy that brings a desert into celebration and a young girl into song. As Christians we have reason to celebrate with such exuberance.

Our worship services, even the most dynamic contemporary services, are so scripted and routine that we find it quite comfortable to slip into the routine.  The gift we have through Christ, though, should cause us to worship in true celebratory fashion. Our social norms do not accept such ecstatic worship as we see in Isaiah and Luke; however, when we encounter God personally, we will find it impossible not to rejoice with our entire being.