For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:1
What brings you joy— what makes you happy? Henri Nouwen said it so well, particularly for those of us in our “joyful days of retirement.” Often, the many aches and ills that accompany these days do not provide “fulfillment and joy.” Thus, we have to choose to find and acknowledge the many things that surround our daily lives that DO provide fulfillment and joy.
In October, we emphasized “becoming joyous and generous givers.” In November, we continued to enjoy the beauty of the fall season and delighted in celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends. In December, we concentrate on the advent season, preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Even with all the “hustle and bustle,” the Christmas Season remains one of my favorite times of the year. And, every year I reflect, “How can we keep the Christmas spirit alive all year; how can we keep that joyful spirit?”
As we meditate, pray, worship, and play this Advent season, let us strive to embed the meaning of joy in our hearts and minds. Let us “choose to find joy,” whether it’s in seeing the first, tiny snow flake in the winter or a mighty, rolling wave in the ocean, the radiant beam of innocence in a baby’s smile, or the sparkle of wisdom and knowledge in an elder’s eyes, the busyness of a tiny ant or the peacefulness of a vast mountain range, struggles we endure or successes we celebrate.
Help us, O God, to “choose joy” in all things, every day.