Intro to Advent

Advent: Joy

This devotional is written by Matt Coombs. Matt is one of the leaders at St Mary's and is married to Pip.

Romans 5:13

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Reflection

Advent is the season before Christmas. It is the moment before the moment. In this season of waiting, of building anticipation. Despite it being the season of darkness before the light comes, it does not need an end to joy.

Christian joy is not defined by present struggle, but by future destiny. Happiness is an emotion that comes and goes depending on our circumstance, but joy can be experienced in the midst of trouble. That's why in advent, this season of waiting and expecting (the moment before the moment) we do not wait for joy but choose joy in the waiting.

This doesn't mean that we should suppress our sorrow. Christian joy is profoundly different from trite advice that says to turn that frown upside down. Christian joy is a decision of faith and hope in the power of Jesus' own life and love.

The angelic announcement about Jesus' birth is that they bring good news of great joy for all people (Luke 2:10)

We can celebrate and be thankful because we know the end of the story. We know Jesus will return and wipe every tear from our eyes.

Pray today that the God of hope would fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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