Have you been surprised by good things this year? In those moments when we laugh and smile and, for a glorious little while, things feel…normal? The word normal feels like a dangerous one these days, as though we are afraid of it because it might not be graspable, at least not the way we remember it. But, even if normal feels fleeting, joy is still here. Advent is a season of hope, of expectation. What are we expecting, though? We are expecting joy. Whether it be in the transcendent meaning of the Christmas season, the beauty of our homes, neighborhoods, or houses of worship, or the elation of children on Christmas morning, we normally expect joy to come from somewhere. This year, perhaps we are hoping rather than expecting. Perhaps we are praying, pleading, yearning for joy. Romans 15:13 blesses us, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
No matter where we are in our lives this year, joy is still here. It may not be where we expect it to be. Rather joy can be where we choose it to be, where we need it to be.
Joy can be in a child’s thoughtful prayers for others who are suffering or have less than they.
Joy can be in the belly-laugh of your partner, their face bright with a smile.
Joy can be in the wrapping of the perfect gift for a loved one, no matter how simple it may be.
No, Friends, joy may not be where we expect it this year, but it lingers where we need it.
Joy is still here.