The third Advent Candle stands for Joy.
(in spite of sorrow. Prayer request at the end of this post)
Yesterday morning at our service someone reflected on the thought
that without what the first two candles represent, hope and peace,
the third would be impossible; Joy.
Hope + Peace = Joy
In order to receive true hope and peace
Jesus suffered love's greatest sorrow
to bring mankind love's greatest joy!
What merit fills the songs we sing
What good the festive hall
If hearts do not receive the King
And make Him Lord of all
What steadfast hope is yours and mine
What peace, comfort and joy
If we in our hearts decline
Bethlehem’s baby Boy
What joy to the world can there be
What hope can Christmas bring
What peace on earth for you and me
If hearts reject the King
© Janet Martin
Love and Joy Perfected
9“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
10If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love,
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11“These things I have spoken to you,
that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
12This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
14You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
15No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing;
but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
16You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit,
and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17These things I command you, that you love one another.
The beginning of Luke is filled with joyful song!
And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn[a] of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
So we who believe also sing with joy
This Joy! His Joy
The joy only Jesus can give!
His joy stays in spite of hurt!
His joy heals the crushed and broken spirit!
His joy is full because He emptied Himself for us!
(His) Joy does not shift with circumstance
Or when our faith is tried
(His) Joy is the Spiritual Romance
Between the Groom and Bride
(His) Joy enters in the heart of hearts
When faith is genuine
What intimacy (His) joy imparts
Twixt mortal and Divine
(His) Joy binds the wounds beneath our skin
And brightens darksome days
It overflows heart-founts within
And spills forth in glad praise
(His) Joy is the delight of the soul
As we dwell on the grace
Of He who came to make us Whole
By dying in our place
Then, as we think upon these things
Recorded in God’s Word
(His) Joy, is the faith that sings and sings
As we wait on the Lord
© Janet Martin
We have some families in our church family
suffering tremendous sorrow at the death
of their sister's husband, a three-week daddy!
Will you join us in lifting these families
(and the families/friends of another young man
also killed in the same tragic workplace accident)
up to the God of all comfort?
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ,
so also our comfort abounds through Christ.