Thank you to the Martin and Nancy Brown for reading for week three, JOY.
Psalms 146: 5-10
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God,
who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them.
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD!
The nation of Israel had waited over four hundred years for a Messiah—a Savior who would liberate them from foreign oppression. In this context, the idea of Joy may have seemed a strange idea. But, the Psalmist claims when we focus on the reality of who God is—maker of heaven and earth and all that is within it— we can be truly JOYFUL.
I know I get impatient waiting on my car to warm up in winter. I realize I can be dissatisfied and unhappy over being too busy in this wonderful season of the year. I see so many struggling with grief, disappointments, and pain and it makes me wonder; how do we truly embrace JOY in this messy, imperfect world?
The truly good news of this Psalm, and of this Season of Advent, is that our God is one of justice, compassion, healing and love. When we put our trust in Him, we find Joy.
As we light the third candle of Advent, may we embrace the Hope of Jesus from which our deepest Joy comes!