Advent 11 - Serious Business

Read Luke 2:9-11

Joy is serious business. C.S. Lewis told his nephew, Malcolm, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” Joy is something we desperately we want - and something we want to share.

I remember a time when I think I successfully made joy happen. Josiah, my oldest child, was turning 8 years old. We hosted a Star Wars themed party. I hand drew a giant Darth Vader on butcher paper. At the party, I became the Jedi master who taught all the partygoers how to wield their lightsaber in combat. Everyone - especially the birthday boy - was joyful!

But some of my attempts at making joy fail spectacularly. In grad school, I planned a night out with some friends for Angel’s birthday. I don’t think she liked the food, the music, the company, or - by the end of the night - her husband. I wasn’t happy at having failed so badly which made things worse. I failed miserably to make her joyful. In fact, I have a picture of her from that night. The look of dissatisfaction on her face still sends a shiver down my spine!

I’m sure you’ve got your own stories of trying to make joy. We try so hard to manufacture joy.

But what if there’s another way? How do we get joy?

We’re rediscovering God’s gifts for us this Advent season. This week we’re exploring God’s gift of joy. We’ll focus on Luke 1:26-38, the annunciation (announcement) of Jesus’s conception by the angel, Gabriel, to Mary of Nazareth, mother of Jesus. As we’ll see, God gives us joy through Jesus. The angels tell the shepherds when Jesus is born that he is “good news that will bring joy to all the people.” You were made for joy, the serious business of heaven.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being low and 10 being high), how much joy do you have?
When do you most feel joy?

Almighty God, you have made us and all things to serve you, now prepare the world for your rule.
Come quickly to save us, so that wars and violence shall end, and your children may live in peace, honoring one another with justice and love; through Jesus Christ, who lives in power with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.

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