Sorry for the month’s absence.
This Sunday we’ll hear from another prophet, Zephaniah and we light the “Joy” candle in the wreath. So in Advent we’re still carrying the images from the past few weeks: Christ the King, hope and peace; and now we’re moving on to joy and then love.
Here are some questions to weigh-in on:
What is joy like? We’ve been doing these short advent skits that relate to the day’s theme, and hope/peace didn’t seem so hard, but how do you act out joy? Just be happy? Big smiles? What kind of feeling is joy, deep in our insides? As an adult, and lately a busy, sometimes highly-stressed adult, I can have an almost non-existent feeling about what joy even is. I definitely have a feeling for what joy isn’t. So maybe start there with this question, start with those feelings that are anti-joy, or joyless.
When is joy sincere? I think that first question for me draws on pictures of kids coming down the stairs on Xmas morning and seeing what Santa brought, or at least that sort of thing – the emotion, excitement, etc. But does that kind of material satisfaction get anywhere near God’s desire for joy? Maybe?
I bust on Christians all the time for thinking we gotta walk around and smile like goobers and say “have a nice day” wherever we go; insincere sugary junk doesn’t jive with my understanding of faith. But as Jesus-followers we’re still expected, even sometimes ordered, to rejoice. So what’s the real deal? What is joy like on occasions where it just doesn’t seem right to be happy-go-lucky?
Read Zephaniah. Think about this vague word, “joy”. And we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite movie/story “happy-endings” to see if we know how to rejoice anymore…