Saturday, December 15, 2012

Advent(ures) - {No. 5} Joy and Good Tidings...part 1

The Readings:

Day 12: Luke 1:46-56
Day 13: Luke 2:1-5
Day 14: Luke 2:6-7
Day 15: Luke 2:8-12

Does it ever happen to you, that when a thought, or whisper, starts to take root in your mind, that you see that very sentiment everywhere?  It almost becomes a filter through which all of life is viewed...

My thought threads, as I considered an Advent series, went something like this:

Joy -  
{and then I was led to the Joy of the World vintage image}

Emmanuel - God with us, God coming to us, 
God coming right to where I am - 
in the midst of the going through the going {growing?} through...

Born in a stable -
born in the midst of a busy, messy, noisy, lively stable...
{and so I can be comfortable with His Presence in my own busy, messy, noisy, lively life!}

My sweet friend Jennifer from Studio JRU offered this beautiful print for all for this season:
Joy print framed from StudioJRU
Go to her post at {in}courage here and follow the instructions to get your beautiful download...
I so love when God is speaking His message all over my wanderings...

The definitions for joy that the world offers are very shallow, and I propose do NOT even define joy, but just another facet of happiness.  Joy is presented as an emotion - fleeting, depending on outer circumstances, unstable.  But joy is not an emotion, it is a character trait...and this difference is quickly found when one wants to make the idea of joy a metaphor for the way they approach life...to find a definition of joy that can be woven into the very fabric of their being...

I wanted to define "joy" the way the Lord does.  And questions and scriptures about joy were floating around my mind - not knowing whether they were my thoughts or the Spirit's leadings, so gentle and soft they were...for instance, the following:

The joy of the Lord is my strength...Nehemiah 8:10

The chewing, the meditating on this verse, it isn't new...our strength comes from the Lord's joy, not my joy in the Lord's ways...I have known that, have heard sermons on it.  But just what is that joy?  The word translated "joy" in this verse is chedvahIt occurs only twice in the Scripture:  here in Nehemiah as the people celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles for the first time in over 70 years and in 1 Chronicles 16:27...
said David as he brought the ark of the Lord's Presence into Zion, 
to the resting place he had prepared for it...

Both places that this word occurs, a celebration of the Lord's Presence with His people...

That is where our joy comes from, from His Presence with us...God is the source of Joy - He IS joy. 

And a little "Joy Treat" from my Beyond Layers class this week....
Click here to download your own copy of these tags in high resolution


Free E-book for Advent from John Piper - Good Tidings of Great Joy

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