advent - joy

Advent – Week Three

I got home from school last night (thus the late post), just as we begin the third week of advent, the week of joy. One of the goals I set for this advent season has been to choose joy, even though I'm still not sure if I know entirely what that means. I know it is okay, even necessary, to be sad when there are things worth being sad over - and there are plenty. But this week at least I want to really learn to see the light, see beauty, and learn what it means that "the joy of the Lord is my strength." I'll start by beginning writing a list of things I'm grateful for, inspired by Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts. And aside from that... I'm not sure. Maybe staying off mind-numbing social media. Definitely getting daily time alone with Jesus. Maybe just saying "yes" to things. Or maybe just smiling more. Maybe following the liturgy for this week. Maybe choosing to remember that Christmas is the beginning of the redemption of all the brokenness. If you have any suggestions for ways to choose joy, please comment below; I'll be grateful!

Advent is the holy season that precedes Christmas. From the Latin adventus, meaning “arrival,” it is a time of hope and expectancy, when Christians prepare their hearts for the coming of Christ. Each of the four weeks of advent encompass a theme; this week’s theme is Joy, Mercy, Redemption, and Steadfast Faith. Use these prayers and Scriptures to prepare your heart for the celebration of Christ’s birth.

Advent Collect (Book of Common Prayer)
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Select Prayer (Revised Common Lectionary)
God of hope, you call us home from the exile of selfish oppression to the freedom of justice, the balm of healing, and the joy of sharing. Make us strong to join you in your holy work, as friends of strangers and victims, companions of those whom others shun, and as the happiness of those whose hearts are broken. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hebrew Bible        Psalm            New Testament         Gospel
Isaiah 35:1-10       Psalm 146     James 5:7-10           Matthew 11:2-11

O Tidings of Comfort and Joy 


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