Archive for December 20th, 2020

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Close your eyes, breathe, and clear your mind. Be still. Center your scattered senses on God’s presence.

REFLECTION: Written by Laura Metzger

Joy is an emotion directly connected to Christmas. We think of the joy of exchanging gifts; the joy of children on Christmas morning; the joy of spending time with family and friends; the joy of celebration.  Sometimes happiness and joy are confused, however.  Happiness is often driven by earthly pleasures and is an emotion that can quickly disappear if things don’t go as expected. Joy, however, is a deeper emotion than happiness. Joy is a choice we make to pursue a life focused on God. Joy is more than feel good happiness; it is the inward peace and contentment we feel based on knowing God’s goodness. Joy is a deep-rooted happiness in the Lord’s strength and peace.  Joy is trusting when we want to doubt. Joy is celebrating when we want to fear. Joy is finding peace in times of anxiety. We demonstrate our joy by serving others, by seeing God’s work in the world, and by allowing our hearts to fully love each other. This Advent season is a great time to build Christ-centered joy into our lives by keeping Jesus in the heart of our celebration this year. Rejoice, pray, and give thanks that God is with us – experience the true joy of this season.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 28:7-9

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Pause and meditate on the Scripture.

PRAYER:  The O Antiphons are used at Vespers of the last 7 days of Advent in Western Christian traditions. The exact origin of the O Antiphons is not known but Boethius (480-524) referenced them. This translation is from the Church of England’s Book of Common Worship liturgy.

O Key of David and scepter of the House of Israel; you open and no one can shut; you shut and no one can open: Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

Click on the link to see and hear the music video.

MUSIC VIDEO:  Andrea Bocelli/Mary Blige: What Child is This

IMAGE: Melani Pyke:  Good News of Great Joy

If using an advent wreath, light the two purple candles, the rose-colored candle and the third purple candle. The fourth candle represents peace and is called the “Angel’s Candle.” The angels announced that Jesus came to bring peace–He came to bring people close to God and to each other again.

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