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Joy: the third week of Advent

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The third week of Advent is a joyous celebration in the midst of waiting and hoping for the blessed birth. It is often denoted by a pink candle, standing out from the three purple or blue candles. The pink symbolizes joy, that of sunrise and a new day. Christ our Savior is the dawning of a new day, out primary joy. As Christians we do well to focus on this and not on all the worldly trappings, if we want to experience this joy and not mere surface happiness.

Great joy preceded Christ's birth. The Virgin Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, who too had her own miraculous pregnancy. She had been barren for years when an angel appeared to her husband and announced to him that his wife would bear a son. Elizabeth confined herself during this time, but Mary came to stay with her for many reasons. When Mary greeted Elizabeth the baby in her womb (John the Baptist) leapt for joy and was filled with the Holy Spirit (see Luke 1:41-42 for the complete story). We too can be filled with the Holy Spirit as Christ promised this to us in several Bible passages: Matthew 3:11, Matthew 28:19, Mark 13:11, Luke 2 11:13 etc...

Herein is true joy, the spirit of the living God can dwell within all who believe and trust Jesus. Because of this promise we are filled with the same great joy when the angels announced to the Shepherds. "Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people" (Luke 2:10). Though many troubling circumstances exist in the world today, those who are in Christ, who have received the message of the angles need not fear.

The celebration of Advent helps to bring to remembrance the message of the angels and the great joy there is in knowing Jesus and that He holds all things together by His hand. When we become fearful, we can remember this; the Father sent the Son so that we might experience the great joy of relationship with Him and His Son. Though there are many things to be troubled by in this world, we can have joy knowing that "in this world we have tribulation, but be of good cheer (joy), I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

It is this third week of Advent that we celebrate this joy. If you enjoyed this article, please consider following me, by clicking on the link above. You can also check out my blog at New Life Dialogue.

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