Advent Week 3: Joy



I’m a little late with the joy…

In the Godly Play Advent stories, when we come to week three we find that the candle lit for the shepherds is a different colour.

And we say this:  Do you see that the candle is a different colour? It is the colour of roses. This reminds us that while this is a serious time, it is also a time of great joy and celebration.

I’m late writing this week.  I’ve been playing that line in my head. We are all very aware that this is a serious time.  So I’ve been looking for joy.

  • A handmade card from a child that reads, “Dree Kafe I wisse yoou a mere cimis I wilsse yoou a Happy cimis xxx” *Bless*
  • The weight of a cat in my lap, purring and stretching and twitching his tail.
  • A walk through my neighbourhood after dark looking at the lights on the houses, and Christmas trees through the windows.
  • The fact that I can walk…
  • Very sappy Christmas movies on the Sony Christmas channel (I discovered that if you have to leave in the middle of one movie – you can come home and watch the end of the next one with very little loss of continuity in the story…)
  • Christmas smells – candles, baking…
  • People who call to make sure I am not always alone.
  • Facetime with family.
  • That if I go to the pool at just the right time, I might be the only one there… my enneagram 5 self is ridiculously happy about that.
  • That I can sing all of the songs to the 1970s Christmas musical (starring Albert Finney) “Scrooge” (and I can hear Lori singing with me). “Scavengers and sycophants and flatterers and fools…”
  • There are ornaments on my tree that remind me of people and places I love.
  • That Advent is about hope, and preparing for the arrival of the long promised Messiah.
  • Joy is the arrival of the Messiah.

The shepherds heard the news and exclaimed,

“Let’s go to Bethlehem!

Let’s see this thing that has happened,

which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:15)

A few weeks ago I wrote about “liminal space”. 

Relating to a transitional process.  Occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold. Waiting. Holding. A period of time that is “in between” what was, and what will be.

At this time of Advent, we stand in a liminal space. We see the serious time that we are in. And it is also a time of celebration and joy.

Psalm 126 speaks to this:

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,

we were like those who dreamed.

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.

Then it was said among the nations,

“The Lord has done great things for them.”

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

AND then v. 4

Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev.

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow,

will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

In a time when we live with great sorrow and the loss of fortune (livelihood, health, family, human interaction), we also have hope (a vaccine, the kindness of others, the close of a long year, unexpected generosity).

In this third week of Advent we stand in between. We look at all that God has done, we see the brokenness of our world, and we long for the day when all is made right.


The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.

Restore us, Lord. Prepare us for thine Advent here. We wait for you.

Where are you finding joy this week?

Inhale: The Lord has done great things for us.

Exhale:  We are filled with joy.

Inhale: Restore us, Lord.

Exhale: We wait for you.

That’s what I would have said…

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