On this fourth week in Advent, I want to take just a moment to acknowledge the joy possible within this season. Joy is more than an emotion of extreme or lasting happiness. Joy is an expression of Love that acknowledges the power of God active in, through, and as every aspect of our lives. Joy is part of what might be called a mystery of faith. The mystery of experiencing joy even in the midst of the challenges of daily life. We can experience joy even in the midst of pain or perceived tribulation. As an expression of Spirit, Joy is strengthens, inspires, and uplifts us. Joy, like our other expressions of Spirit, needs to be nurtured and matured in order for us to benefit from its fullness.
One way to nurture joy is by paying attention to the thoughts that we think. Thoughts are things. Thoughts are not just passing energy that has no affect. Thoughts already have form, and when we speak that form out loud we give it whatever energy is there. Are we thinking thoughts that create discord, or are we thinking thoughts that create harmony and goodwill? A part of the Christmas story is when the angels come and bring tidings of great joy. They sing Glory to God in the HIghest, and Peace on Earth Goodwill toward humankind. The blessing they bring is for all humankind not just the shepherds. As we move forward through this week of Christmas may we all look for those thoughts that bring us joy. This year may we consciously express Joy bringing Goodwill toward all.
May your Christmas be filled with Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. May we all know the blessings of this season and the mystery of newness in the coming year.