December 12, 2010
Third Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 35:1-10 The Message Bible
James 5:7-8 Gods Word Bible
Romans 8:35-38 New Living Translation
Have you ever had that unexplainable joy within you. . . I mean not just that everyday happiness but that joy within you over something or someone that you just can’t hold it in? This type of joy just can’t be contained. I remember when Ray and I were married. I had so much joy within me it went far beyond anything that I could say to describe it. It was just welling up inside me and I couldn’t help but share it with those around me. It was kind of a contagious joy that others felt just being around me. . . and I still feel that joy to this day. Joy is something that we just have to share with those around us. . . with those who are our family and friends.
But what would it be like if we shared that joy with even the strangers that are among us. . . what would that look like. . . with those who could use some joy in their lives? What do you think the world would be like if we shared that radical hospitality with them. . . letting them into our own lives so that they too can have joy and hope. . . inviting them into the living room of our lives? Can you imagine what that world would look like?
Let us pray. . . Loving, Gracious God, giver of all true Joy, we thank you for this day that we can celebrate the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray that you would be with us as we think about the sheer joy of having a relationship with you. Set afire the Spirit within us with the joy of this Advent season. . . a joy that is uncontrollable. Speak to us in ways we never imagined. Amen!
In the video we saw this morning Mitch shared that joy with others. Like that little girl waiting for the sleigh, Santa’s sleigh. He used the talents that God have given him to help others. He gave the “joy of a sleigh ride with Santa” to the community around him in order to receive funds that he gave to his church so that others may have joy. . . others who need joy in their lives. . . others that needed a helping hand. . . just for the sheer joy of doing it. He knew the true meaning of the season. . . the real reason for the season.
In this world of sadness and pain, it is hard to find that real, uncontrollable joy. When we look around us we see misery and pain and we may ask ourselves, “Where is the joy. . . where is the love that should encompass all of humankind’s life?” Isn’t there something better out there than what we see around us? We see jobs being lost, wars breaking out, and people with major health issues, divorce and brokenness. Where is the joy? Where is the hope? Where can it be found?
In the book of Isaiah there is a passage that gives hope to the hopeless, joy to the saddened and peace to the warring. It is found in Isaiah 35 verses 1-10. This passage gives me great hope, joy peace and faith. This passage speaks volumes to God’s love to His creation. I hope you will understand why after you here it. See what I mean about hope, about joy in that scripture. It reads (and I’m reading from the Message Bible). . . (Read passage)
This scripture tells us that God will prevail not matter what is going in around us. . . it tells us that our God reigns supreme. . . this scripture tells us that God will one day set things right that have gone so wrong in the world. . . this tells us to be strong and courageous, God is working out His plan even if we don’t see it with our eyes we can feel it with our hearts. Take heart. . . be of good courage. . . trust in God’s love (because it’s a love that will never end. . . never end. . . listen to what God says about that love He has for us, for all humankind that was written in the letter from Paul in the book of Romans from chapter 8, verses 35 thru 39. . .
Now that’s something to have real joy. . . uncontainable joy about)
Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, we must wait patiently for the day to come when God will reign supreme but while we wait we have work to do to help that day come along a little sooner. Part of our work is to share that uncontrollable. . . that uncontainable joy that is within you, that is within me, that we have within us. Is there someone that you know who could use joy in their lives. . . is there someone who needs help that only you can give (something that you could do just for the sheer joy of it and therefore spreading that uncontainable joy along to someone else)? My challenge for you this week is this. . . I challenge you to sing joyously that song within you, help energize limp hand, open the eyes of the blind to God’s love, and help the lame walk and the deaf to hear. Share with someone about the saving grace of Christ which is the beginning of our song. . . the reason for the season and that uncontainable joy within us.
God is with us. Take courage! God is here. . . right beside us. . . working out His plan. He will save! Help is one the way! Sing Alleluia our God is with us.
December 13, 2010
Call to Worship
church sign: “Uncontainable Joy”
Lectionary Worship Aids Cycle A
Advent Wreath Candlelighting Meditations for Home and Church,
Third Sunday of Advent, Year A, by Dean McIntyre
Worship Theme: “Joy”
December 12, 2010
Third Sunday of Advent