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A Taste of Joy

The Lord himself will give you a sign.  Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.
                            Isaiah 7:14

We are joyful already now because we know that the Lord will come.  Our expectation leads to joy and our joy to a desire to give to others.  Real joy always wants to share. It belongs to the nature of joy to communicate itself to others and to invite others to take part in the gifts we have received. 

Advent is indeed a time of joyful waiting and joyful giving.  The period before Christmas has that remarkable quality of joy that seems to touch not only Christians but all who live in our society.  When you, as a Westerner, live in another society where Advent and Christmas do not exist as universal events, you realize the lack of this joyful anticipation most painfully.

But Advent is not only a period of joy.  It is also a time when those who are lonely feel lonelier than during other periods of the year …

Surrounded by a loving, supportive community, Advent and Christmas seem pure joy.  But let me not forget my lonely moments because it does not take much to make that loneliness reappear.  If I am able to remember loneliness during joy, I might be able in the future to remember joy during loneliness and so be stronger to face it and help others face it.

Taken from: “The Lord Is Near: Advent Meditations From The Works of Henri J. M. Nouwen.” p.25.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash