Sunday, 9 December 2012

Joy in the darkness

The Advent study, after taking off with love, then climbing through hope, has reached the dizzy altitude of JOY.

1 John 1:4-7, in The Message:
"Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!
Walk in the Light
This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.
If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim."

The NIV says "If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth." 

That theme has been a recurrent one for me recently, as I have been thinking about 'stumbling around in the dark'. Of how easy it is to slip into sinful, selfish habits. Of the 'dark thoughts' which are so comfortable to entertain: those thoughts which flit across my mind unnoticed, especially when I'm tired and, may I say it, grumpy at the end of a difficult and tiring term. Thoughts such as 'It's not fair.' (Certainly true, often.) 'She didn't consider anyone else when she made that decision.' (Definitely true.) 'He lied.' (Yes, he did.)

I'm not saying I should deny the truth of what happens. But I AM saying that entertaining, even for a second, accusatory thoughts like these does not bring me JOY.

Joy comes
through accepting truth and loving others.
through giving the 'benefit of the doubt'.
through choosing to try to see life through God's eyes.

So, this week especially, I'm going to try to focus on Jesus, as the wise men did. Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signalled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.”

I want to be a wise woman. As John the Baptist said: He must become greater; I must become less." 
John also reminds us that "It’s not possible for a person to succeed - I’m talking about eternal success - without heaven’s help....The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice."
FULL of joy.

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