Welcome to the third week of our Advent Series! As we mentioned in previous posts, we are not technically following the actual "Advent Calendar." However, we will still be discussing the rich meaning and symbolism behind the individual candles of the Christmas Advent Wreath and how the given topics call for worship. Traditionally, the third week of Advent is represented by the lighting of the wreath’s pink candle, titled the candle of "Joy."
This word also means “pleasure” or “happiness.” We chase after it as if our lives depend on it. Some people will even go as far as sacrificing relationships with the people they love most to grab hold of it. The world and its commercials scream that our own happiness is what matters most, at any expense. What if there was a kind of joy that could anchor the soul into a place of deep worship and rest? Would you want it? There is a way to obtain this kind of joy, and its beginnings are found in an unlikely path.
Sorrow is the path to ultimate joy.
As a culture, we avoid sorrow because it brings great anguish to our hearts. We push it away or hold it within the crevices of our hearts. Sometimes we ignore and disregard it due to the pain that it unleashes. We cannot stand the thought of embracing our sorrows because they can lead to experiencing anger, depression, and pain. You may say to yourself, “I want nothing to do with any kind of suffering,” and even though it is an understandable statement, you will end up robbing yourself of the pure joy that God has for you.
There is a kind of sorrow that is good for the soul, which leads to a place of perfect joy, and it is found in the example Jesus set for us in going to the cross.
“...For the joy set before him he endured the cross, despising the shame." -Hebrews 12:2
Enduring any kind of cross is a terrible thing. And the kind that our Lord experienced is beyond our ability to empathize. Jesus experienced great sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane because he knew that the weight of what he was finally going to experience was upon him: the sin of all humanity on Christ the Savior ultimately baring the wrath of God once and for all. Throughout his journey, Jesus’ focus was kept on the place that we should - his own future exaltation at the Father’s right hand, with the completion of our salvation crowning his head. This was his joy.
Sorrow over sin leads to joy in the Savior.
"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death."- 2 Corinthians 7:10
See? Even the bible mentions that there is “Godly sorrow”. It’s real and brings a kind of repentance in which we turn away from our sin and find that there is no satisfying gift other than the salvation we have through Jesus.
Godly sorrow leads to joy in God, which leads to a place of pure worship.
There is only one kind of response to the message of salvation for anyone who truly understands that God has delivered us from darkness and brought us into his light.
Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
When we embrace sorrow, we embrace our joy because we realize that having Christ means we have all we need. It boils up into a song of praise that permeates the darkest places of our soul, bringing to light the glory of the one who sets us free forever.
Recommended Track for the Week:
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