The third Sunday of Advent is when we light the pink candle and celebrate the joy that Mary felt on hearing about the gift she would be bringing to the world. “My soul magnifies the Lord”, she sang.
What song does our heart sing? Today? This month?
Today I remember my Dad – this would have been his birthday. He brought me so much joy – including the gift and love of music. He began life with many difficulties, some of which needed surgeries at a very young age. Think back to 1934 and what the practice of medicine looked like then.
Move forward to the medical advances today. I am thankful for those who are healing, and lift up those who await treatments. Is this part of JOY?
Today I search for all the things that bring me joy.
We began with “Blessed Quietness” as we prepared our hearts for worship then joyfully sang “This is the Day”! God is good – all the time. The service concluded with “Be thou my vision”. May you be blessed.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!
26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.
29 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
1 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”[a]
3 As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my delight.
4 Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;[b] their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. 8 I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure. 10 For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit.
11 You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
WELCOME in the name of Jesus, the Christ.
Sharing with you some ideas about this psalm and our lives today.
We’re standing in the middle of something so much bigger than each of us but our God is big enough AND small enough to tap each of us on the shoulder and say, “Have no fear, I am with you.”
I don’t often write out my full prose of my message and today will be no different. The mind map that I will share at the end may seem confusing or odd but it gives a glimpse into my thought process throughout the week.
The big question and the following questions stem from this statement: “If you were to write a psalm today what would it look like?”
The psalmist today writes about how very present God is and not like the gods of the Canaanites. There are a lot or resources available on this Psalm – just ask Mr. Google if you want more.
Back to the questions.
How would you write your psalm today? Would you base it somewhat on Psalm 16?
What does your lament or tears look like? Would you share that part of you? That’s not always easy.
What songs would you sing today? Songs of joy, faith, or love perhaps.
Take the questions further – what does your dream look like? For tomorrow or for this time next year. What’s the dream for when we worship together once more?
Perhaps the dream would be about rising again. We will arise! We will find joy in today but also in tomorrow and whatever is next for us.
This morning we sang songs of Joy: Joyful, joyful we adore you, I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, and then finished with I can feel you near me God (Jump for joy).
Are you feeling joy? Are you able to get excited about your dreams to come?
This we know for sure: God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.
See my Mind Map below which is the short form of my message today.