(Read Is. 65:18 & Phil. 4:4-6).
We’re at the halfway point in our Advent journey of preparation. On this day, we’re asked rather pertinently, “what is the sign of your trust in God?” Following a week of multi-layered problems, experienced in every corridor of the world, not least in the expressed view, that Jamaica is teetering on the brink of anarchy, here comes the challenge…be JOYFUL! How is that possible? Are we expected to be mere sentimentalists or worse, hypocrites? The truth is, neither answer is correct. JOY is not ‘happy-clappy’ sentimentality that superimposes a smile upon one’s pain or denies the pain’s existence; it is rather, “the expression of knowing you are loved unconditionally and nothing, can take that love away” (Henri Nouwen). JOY is seeing and celebrating God, amidst life’s myriad trials. It is being moved to say with Mary, ‘that which is deep within me, proclaims God’s greatness, for my spirit has learned how to ABIDE in Him!’ Be filled with JOY then beloved, and…be strong.
Canon “Grace” Jervis