My sermons during this Advent season focus on the four traditional themes for each of these four Sundays: Trust, Hope, Joy, and Love. This Sunday the sermon is about Joy.
It is a challenge for me to follow a series like this instead of using the assigned texts for the day. This week, therefore, I'm working on the theme of Joy. As with the other three Advent Sunday themes, Joy is one of those things we know is alive within us when it's happening, but not easy to describe when we are not in the middle of it, stand back, and try to describe what it is.
'This gives me Joy!," we might say, or, 'This makes me joyful." Many things in our lives are best if we simply leave them to work on their own, without trying to describe them. And so, a sermon that talks about Joy is both dull and odd. Experiencing Joy however is neither dull nor odd. Some things, like Joy, are not given to putting them into words. Joy is best experienced; explaining it does very little.
And so this Sunday, my task is to find a way to blend my simple words about Joy with the powerful Joy we experience in the hymns, readings and prayer, architecture and stained glass windows. However, the real Joy on Sunday morning is having others around you from 10:30 to 11:30 who give you more Joy than all the spoken words combined.
I give Joy that you are there, sharing yours with mine on a Sunday morning, as we speak, listen, sing and pray. Having you there in person around me brings Joy to my world.
Bless you all.