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.”
The meaning of Christmas is easily lost in the glitter and hype that fill our days for weeks and months at this time of year. Much about the Christmas season is cozy and appealing. Much else about it is shallow and consumeristic. But what is the true meaning of Christmas?
Does living with plenty dull the sense of our own sin and misery? Are we even aware of our need for a Savior? Of our gratitude for deliverance? Could our material comforts and security be actually diminishing our joy?