Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Joy to the world, the Lord is coming.

My quiet mornings with the Lord are now accompanied by three flickering tealights in the Advent wreath. How quickly the time passes—only one more candle to light.

Week three of Advent focuses on joy. Not a superficial, temporary happiness, but a deep, abiding joy. A joy that is rooted in the gift of a Child that was born to save us from our sins. Of a God who loves His children so much that He became one of us to redeem us, to teach us, to heal us. A joy that glows steadily throughout the ups and downs we experience because we hold onto these truths.

Sometimes I take for granted the joy of knowing Jesus. Of the faith I was born into and now claim as my own. The comfort of His promises when life is uncertain.

Until I meet someone who does not share that belief.

As I listened to a dear friend share some very painful circumstances with me recently, I was heartbroken to hear her express doubt in the Bible and the Church. To hear her wondering about the afterlife. I cried with her for the hurt she is experiencing, but I also was devastated to think of her lacking the comfort and hope that God’s promises give. To see her searching yet denying the very thing that gives meaning and purpose when life doesn’t make sense. I pray that God will reach out to her in this time of darkness and that He will help me do the same.

As I pondered our conversation the next morning, I realized anew the incredible gift of the Savior, of the Church He gave, and of His daily graces. As Christmas nears, my heart is filled with humble gratitude for this gift.

And for receiving it not only at Christmas, but every day.

What a reason to rejoice.

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