When chaos descends upon us, our instinct is to recoil. We want to escape it, and we want to lean back into what is familiar. We want to cling to what we know because what we know is comfortable. The trouble is, in our longing for normalcy, we let go of the steadying hand of grace.
In the introduction of her 2018 book, Ingrid Fetell Lee poses a list of questions to help her readers think about whether their surroundings feel joyful. I read the list of questions in the introduction with interest and a growing sense of trepidation.
Honestly, Joy seems like too much to ask for right now. It is the most difficult of the Advent virtues: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love. It feels like an unlikely indulgence for the privileged, unconscionable in light of today’s news.
But if the Christmas story in Luke is framed with joy, there is a different kind of joy in John, a strange kind, the joy of tent-living.
Since we know God will keep his end of the deal in giving us “the desires of our hearts”, what are tangible ways that we can do our part of delighting in Him?
I can only begin to understand the depth of the joy that Zechariah foretold of the incarnate Word entering our world “to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”