Advent 3: Joy – Rusty Foerger
Joy is an exuberant theme of Christmas! Joy is a recurrent theme of the Christian journey. When C.S. Lewis chose the title of his autobiography, he took a phrase from the first line of a William Wordsworth poem, “Surprised by joy, impatient as the wind.”
One can hardly talk about joy in any terms other than uncontainable. Often joy can only be expressed by breaking out into laughter:
“Mirth, the holy laughter of a God who seizes everything wrong and assures that it all turn out right… there all the time, but never heard unless it’s attended to. I hadn’t been silent enough. I hadn’t learned to wait. It was the sound of my name in God’s mouth, the word that I was created and chosen to be, the part that I have been given in the chorus to shape into song.”
Harold Fickett, The Holy Fool
How does it make you feel to know that you bring joy to the living God – that the sound of your name in His mouth is the sound of mirth – the holy laughter of God?
It’s completely consistent with Him. Consider how God reveals His delights in you – how He rejoices over you with singing:
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is mighty to save.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
He will quiet you with his love.
He will rejoice over you with singing.
I wonder if this was a stanza in the songs the Angels sang that first Christmas eve? It has taken me most of my life to know THIS God of the song – this Abba Father:
- whose love is delight;
- whose might has the same purpose as His joy: to save me from a passionless existence apart from Him;
- whose quieting me with love is rejoicing over me with singing.
What else can I do but pray in worshipful response to His Christmas song:
How well do I know this, Abba, taught to me by my own children over whom I sang – each one having their own song, along with the songs of worshipping You.
If I know this as a fatherless man through the curriculum of raising my own children – it is because it is the foretaste of You, Heavenly Father, who made us in Your image to correspond to Your own infinite qualities of joyful delighting love.