Joy: A Source or Cause of Delight

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11 NIV

“Very often our joy is dulled by unnecessary anxiety. We let our peace of soul depend too much on persons and events and circumstances, and too little on God’s infallible and tender care.” – from the MaryKnoll Missal

“The essential of happiness is having something to do, something to love and something to hope for.” –Allan K. Chalmers

My adventure in liturgy has come in spurts this December. I had grand plans of daily contemplating the rich history of the church and its celebration of Advent, but alas this fast paced century keeps me from my monastic tendencies. So how does one contemplate Jesus and his arrival in this chaotic, performance driven culture? We plan events like Christmas eve services, we gather with family and give one another gifts as an attempt of emulating the gift of the Savior, and we crash on December 26th. Yet the liturgical year is just beginning, and we have more adventures ahead as we remember the life of Jesus.

In between Christmas and January 6th, which takes us through Epiphany Sunday, we still have time to contemplate the birth of Christ. In our secular world, many will just take a break waiting to celebrate New Year’s Eve, and then start another cycle of chasing after the offerings of this world. And most likely I will, too. I am not out to attack secular pursuits, but I am on a quest to keep Christ as the main focus of how I pursue this life.

This is just the beginning of the journey. So let’s enjoy the newness of life that surges through our heart as we travel back in time to the Birth of our Savior. What new things does He have in store for us?

As I enter the next couple of very special days on the church calendar, the Christmas vigil and Christmas Day, I want to ponder some questions that Joan Chittister poses in her book, The Liturgical Year. Will you join me in my ponderings?

“What does the life of Jesus now mean to us? How is [his] life affecting our own? Are we ourselves living both the promise and the potential [that is offered to us by his life]?”

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