Advent 2021 • The 3rd Sunday • JOY

Sunday, December 12th, 2021

“I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
— Luke 2:10 —

Prayer ~

Dear God, calm our hearts and our thoughts so that we may experience your joy. Fill us with your spirit. Help us to recognize joy, receive joy, and share joy this advent season and the whole year long. Please bless the person reading this prayer and may they experience your joy in abundance today. In Jesus name, Amen.

The lighting of the first three candles of Advent.

Week One • HOPE

This candle reminds us of the promise that a Messiah would come, bringing peace and love to the world.

Week Two • PREPARATION

This candle reminds us that the prophets waited for a Messiah to come and save the people.

🕯🙏🏻✝️🪔✝️🙏🏻🕯

“Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.” — Psalm 97:11-12

Why Do We Light The Third Candle?

The third candle reminds us that Jesus’ birth brings joy to all who believe in Him, so we join all of creation in celebrating Him.

“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.”
— Matthew 2:10-11a —

The Christmas Story — Luke 2:1-7

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”

Discussion Questions:

1. When Jesus was born, God sent angels to announce Jesus’ birth and also a star to celebrate. The wise men saw the star and traveled a long way to find and worship Jesus. What do these acts tell us about God?

I believe God was incredible proud that His son was being born human and would bridge the divide between humanity and the divine. Jesus was born to do what no other human was capable of doing, save us. I believe the wise men came because they believe something wonderful was going to be happening.

The Greek word μαγοι (mάgoi) is translated as “wise men” or “magi” depending on the English translation. This word was originally meant to refer to a class of Persian wise men that were something like priests, interpreters of special signs, and especially astrology. *https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holidays/who-were-the-wise-men-of-the-christmas-story.html?amp=1

2. How does the birth of Jesus give us joy?

Jesus’ birth is cause for joy because He bore our sins and through His great sacrifice we are forgiven and have the assurance we will be with Him in heaven someday. My joy is I know that no matter where life takes me I am never alone. I know and trust that God created me on purpose and with a plan. I know that I am incapable of saving myself. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28

3. In what ways can we spread the joy of Christmas to others?

I am a firm believer in doing small things great instead of trying to do great things. Jesus loved the unloveable, goodness He loves me! A kind word or gesture often speaks volumes to someone who believes they are invisible. Our world is hurting in so many places and many are hanging on by a thread, simple kindness and respect go a long way in spreading joy. I find myself easily frustrated by the actions of others and the total disregard for others. Yes, I get very angry at times. Example, I came home tonight and at the entrance to my building is a fire lane/no parking…time and time again people park in the spot, oh this irritates me. The problem, well two problems…one no consequence or enforcement from building management and secondly, someone thinking they are above rules/laws. So my irritation lasted about 10 minutes, I have done my part and reported this behavior. It’s a matter of area of concern vs. area of control; I have no control in this matter, let it go and let God!

Friends, thank you for stopping by today, I wish you JOY today and throughout this third week of Advent. Peace~Joy~Love to you!

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

An Advent Devotional • Unwrapping the Names of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu

https://onethingalone.com/advent/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holidays/who-were-the-wise-men-of-the-christmas-story.html?amp=1

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