This week’s Word of Advent is joy. Joy is something all of us have experienced but few of us are able to grasp it, meaning both understand and hold on to. Some argue joy is more spiritual than happiness. But it is not. It’s simply different. Today our Advent Psalm is a prayer asking God to give us eyes catch glimpses of and hearts to capture God’s joy.
Giver of life:
I find joy always on the move, like a kingfisher along the river on a winter’s day. I hear his staccato call and catch sight of his black-crowned head and gray blur skimming above ice-crusted water or flashing through the bare trees. The rush of aliveness and mystery he grants in that moment is excruciating, delicious, reshaping my mood. Then he’s gone. Breathless I search, wait, and listen for another sighting.
Even in the gray and cold and dark days, entrust me with eyes catch glimpses of and a heart to capture your joy.
I know joy, like kingfisher, will come again. But the waiting is torture. I despair. Mistake him for other, lesser, birds.
Happiness, a chickadee, settles on a limb next to me, playful, tentative, fleeting. Sparrow, familiar, soft-feathered gladness flits around my feet. These beautiful gifts in life arise from you as well.
In winter I need more than chickadees and sparrows. I need muscular, outrageous joy. Grant me joy that is a fierce laughing that flies in the face of trouble. That doesn’t dash away. A joy that emerges from the ashes of the landscape.
Lord of life:
I renew my wait, anticipating joy beyond lights, ornaments, and presents. Let that elusive kingfisher alight in me in the form of your Spirit. Birth in me the steadfast joy of you, everlasting Lord.
Also, read Words Wield the Power to Create and Destroy our Lives, Words of Advent: What Is Love? Love is a Name, and Advent Psalm: A Song of True Love, and Words of Advent: What Is Peace? Shalom Stands Strong in the Fire of Life to dig deeper into what God offers us with his love and peace this Advent.