the JOY candle

The third Sunday of Advent we light the rose colored candle representing Joy. I am so enjoying my Sunday early morning devotional times with my advent wreath. Some waaaay earlier than I had intended, but I will thank my good buddy Insomnia for this one. And thank you, God, for meeting me in these restless moments with such clarity of your word.

On a sacred night over 2,000 years ago a tiny baby was born. The angels heralded, wise men came bearing gifts, shepherds hurried to the village – all in worship and wonder for a baby King. What a marvelous night when God sent His son to be born with the purpose of saving us from our sins and reuniting us with Him.

Today we still celebrate all the magnificent joy that comes with the birth of our Savior King, God in man’s form.  And we stand in wonder and awe that God would send his son to this fallen world corrupted by our sinful natures.  We rejoice knowing God is doing something new, and that nothing can stop His plan. There is such amazing comfort and great joy, even as we still live in a world wrecked with such sorrow and pain.

Jesus said to his disciples: ….I tell you the truth, a time is approaching when you will weep and mourn while the world is celebrating. You will grieve, but that grief will give birth to great joy. In the same way that a woman labors in great pain during childbirth only to forget the intensity of the pain when she holds her child, when I return, your labored grief will also change into a joy that cannot be stolen.

When all this transpires, you will finally have the answers you have been seeking. I tell you the truth, anything you ask of the Father in My name, He will give to you. Until this moment, you have not sought after anything in My name. Ask and you will receive so that you will be filled with joy. [John 16:20-24]

Jesus prepared us through His words to the disciples, we will feel pain and mourn. We will grieve and suffer in this life. And still, “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all the people”, the angel says [Luke 2:11].  ALL the people – that’s us! Great joy for me and you.  Despite our circumstances. Amen?!

As I’ve been learning more about the origin and meaning of advent, this hymn has touched a more tender spot in my heart this year.

O come, O come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appears
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel   Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save and give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel   Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel   Shall come to thee, O Israel.

So, on this third Sunday of advent, we light the rose colored joy candle with hearts full. Full of Christ. Full of peace rooted in knowledge of all that He has done, is doing and will continue to do. We are ransomed, we are free, dark shadows in flight. Now and forever more.

In His Grip,  Ashlee

Pray with me: Dear Heavenly Father God, I love you and praise you Lord. Thank you for the opportunity to come into your presence whenever and whereever and however many times we need.  For the times, we don’t have the words, thank you for just taking our heart as we lay them open to you. You know I’ve found comfort in these words represented this advent season, God. When all my heart can say is “Yes Lord, please HOPE, please PEACE, please JOY…” you have known the full weight of my burdens and troubles all while I rejoice in you. There is such peace at your feet. When my heart breaks-you hold the pieces together. What an amazing God you are.  Thank you for advent and thank you for Jesus.  It is in His Name I pray, Amen. 

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