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Advent Devotional 12/20/2019

Week 3: Joy

Good morning!  Our final devotional writer for this season of Advent is Miranda Sullivan.  Miranda is a Junior from Des Moines, Iowa, who is double majoring in Religion and Political Science.  Miranda currently serves as the President of Disciples on Campus, also known as DOC, which is our Christian Church Disciples of Christ campus ministry.  I have gotten to know Miranda this year in this role and have appreciated her sense of responsibility and deep commitment to this ministry.  I appreciate her ability to let her responsible approach to leadership rest comfortably beside her joyful presence that helps put others at ease.  When you see Miranda you are greeted with a genuinely warm smile and a kind heart, regardless of what might be going on around her.  In doing so she embodies what it means to choose JOY, which is important not only during this season of Advent but throughout the year as well.  I hope you will take a moment to breathe, quiet the busyness around you, read her words and choose JOY for yourself today.  Since this is our last devotional, I’m wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas this holiday season!

Romans 12:9

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good.

Let us reflect.

My mother has always been my confidant, and since I was young she has patiently listened to my seemingly unending list of tasks, frustrations, and anxieties.  When I finish, she always asks me to tell her about something good—something that brought me joy.  She reminds me often that joy can be a choice.  Even if you can’t always control your circumstances, you can try to control your response and outlook.  You can choose joy because you can “hold fast to what is good” (Rom 12:9).

Unfortunately, the arrival of the Advent season doesn’t wash away the stresses of everyday life.  Classes continue, and work piles up just as it does all year long.  A lot of times, the Advent season brings its own additional, unique stresses as we contemplate the perfect gifts for our loved ones and pack our schedules with events and travels.  These things can be inevitable, but they don’t have to inhibit our joy this Advent season.

We can choose to “hold fast to what is good,” because even though Christmas brings stresses it also brings so many more opportunities for joy.  We have the opportunity to break from our routine to experience the peace, joy, hope, and love of Christ’s birth while surrounded by our loved ones.  We share stories, gifts, and meals that provide countless opportunities to find joy.  I challenge you to identify these joyous moments throughout the Advent season and to hold fast to these moments of joy as you move throughout the rest of the Advent season and into the new year.

Let us pray.

God of love, help us to hold fast to the joyous moments of this Advent season.  May we both experience and share the joy of your greatest gift to us.  Amen.


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