Advent Day 15: Defiantly Joyful

This morning in worship, we cried. The tears were real. They were heartfelt. I read the names of those lost in Connecticut as well as their ages. The number “6” has never had so much power for me. We wept. We wept together. We wept for the tragedy. We wept for the individuals and families. We wept for our culture. Worship this morning had genuine sorrow…

… and then, we started naming things that give us joy. We spoke of family. And music. And laughter. And friends. And time off. And we laughed. And the laughter was just as genuine and heartfelt as the tears. 

Then we welcomed new members. It was a little sloppy. A little awkward, but in the end, we had seven people say publicly that they wanted to be a part of what God is doing in our little church. It was a joy for us as a community and for me as a pastor. 

And then we sang “Joy to the World”. I got the idea from a friend online this morning. I know, I know. More Christmas than Advent, but it felt like it fit. The third verse struck me: 

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

We proclaimed joy this morning and we did so defiantly. I did so in defiance of the sorrow that surrounded us. We proclaimed joy in the face of fear and cynicism. We proclaimed joy because Christ is our joy as he is our hope and our peace. And so, against a world that would call us to misery and anguish, we proclaimed and lived joy. 

It was an act of rebellion. 

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