The What and Who of Meandering About

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Advent - Week 3 - Joy

This Advent take time to slow down and embrace the season.

Week 3 
This week we light the third candle on the Advent wreath.

“We light this candle in great joy; Jesus is our joy!”

SLOW DOWN, EMBRACE JOY.


Questions:
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the word 'joy'?
What do you think it might mean to live a life characterized by joy?

Scripture:
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion-- to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the LORD has blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

Discussion:
Where do you think joy appears in this passage?
This was written to a people who had been exiled (sent away from their homeland; separated from everything that was familiar to them).
How might knowing that change your answer to the first question?
Consider the following, Isaiah wrote,
"the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion-- to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit."
Where is joy in this proclamation?
How might you be someone who works to bring joy into your world?

Activity:
Sometime before next Sunday, consider what brings you joy. Each day write about one of those things by answering these questions...
What is it that brings you joy?
Why does this bring you joy?
Think about some ways in which you might be an agent of joy in your house, your school, your place of employment this week.

Christmas Benevolence:
Christmas Benevolence could still use your help. If you are in town this coming week, check out the opportunities to serve. Check the church website www.secondchurch.org for a full list of opportunities. Delivery day is Saturday, December 20.

SLOW DOWN, EMBRACE JOY.

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