Advent JOY

Canticle 9 – Isaiah 12:2-6

The First Song of Isaiah    Ecce Deus

Surely, it is God who saves me; *
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, *
and he will be my Savior.
Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing *
from the springs of salvation.
And on that day you shall say, *
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;
Make his deeds known among the peoples; *
see that they remember that his Name is exalted.
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, *
and this is known in all the world.
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, *
for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

The Message

“Joy to the world, the Lord has come” is a popular lyric that aptly denotes the delight in an event that occurred – the first Christmas. Today, as we reflect on the theme for the 3rd week of Advent, let us find and focus on the joy in the preparation for an event that is to come – our Saviour’s coming again in glory. Isaiah 12 is a fitting canticle as this chapter is a hymn of praise that gives insight to the attitude and actions we can adopt when we are truly joyful and center our expectations around the heavenly and not things of the world. Joy is oftentimes used interchangeably with happiness, however, it is a much more profound emotion. It emanates from within, regardless of what is going on around us in this ever-changing and confusing world. A global pandemic, surging crime, personal challenges, inter alia, can erode happiness but our joy is anchored in our Lord who reigns. The (joy of the) Lord is my strength (v2)

Having a relationship with Christ where you can proudly attest to the fact that He is the source of your strength, defense and salvation is wonderful and is reason enough to allow praise to effortlessly flow from the depths of our hearts to our lips as we proclaim His majesty!!! Notwithstanding, our praise should not be limited to private worship. This Advent (and beyond), let the joy that we have rooted in Christ spring us into action as we “draw water from the springs of salvation” (v3). Let us take the charge given in Isaiah 12:4 –

“Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name. Make his deeds known among the peoples,
see that they remember that his Name is exalted.”

We are called not only to know Christ but to make Him known to others. As demonstrated in the aforementioned verse, evangelism is the natural progression of people who are filled with joy. We simply should not be able to keep such delight to ourselves. Given the current state of affairs in Jamaica and around the world, we are witnessing to people who are in desperate need of hope, peace, and joy as they are burdened with anxiety, grief, and despair. I encourage us to be the beacon, who from the outpouring of a grateful heart, remind our people that
“though weeping may last for a night, JOY comes with the morning” (Ps 30:5). So, go forth brothers and sisters with a joyful heart and a mouth full of praise proclaiming that our God can turn wailing into dancing, until they too with renewed and joyful hearts, sing their praises to the Lord (Ps 30:11-12).

Advent 3 Collect

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.

Message Contributed by Capt. Kemar Parchment of the Church Army – St Mary the Virgin – Molynes Road

Psalm & Collect read by Tracy Ann Mahoney of Crofts Hill All Saints Anglican -Clarendon