We hear the words to the famous Christmas carol at coffee shops and retail stores this time of year—joy to the world, the Lord has come! Yet in reality, joy seems elusive and fleeting to most of us. Is it possible to have joy even in the midst of dark and painful seasons? Is there anything we can do to produce joy? Join us this Sunday as we celebrate Advent and learn to wait for Christ with joy.
Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
CONFESSION OF SIN
Father, the light of your salvation shines in the world and the darkness cannot overcome it.
Yet we live as if your light cannot defeat darkness.
Forgive us for doubting your salvation.
Through your Spirit, you never abandon us; your name is Emmanuel, “God with us.”
Yet when life becomes difficult, we fear your presence has left us.
Forgive us for turning to other things for comfort.
Jesus, at your return you promise to wipe away all tears and heal all pain.
Yet instead of trusting you to restore your world, we take matters into our own hands.
Forgive us for doing what is right in our own eyes.
Lord, of these things we repent.
Help us to trust you and to live as your light, ever-waiting for your return.
Come, Lord Jesus!