From the Pastor 12/16/18:
What brings you joy? Last week I met up with an old friend. I shared with her the many good things happening in the parish and in my life. In this busy season of Advent there are many, many things happening. At which she asked, “what brings you joy?”
This third Sunday of Advent, we celebrate “Gaudete” Sunday. Gaudete means in Latin rejoice. It comes from Phil 4:4-5 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near." So as we come together to rejoice in the Lord we ask ourselves “what do we rejoice in, what really brings us joy?” We will wear rose-colored vestments and light the rose candle, all as a symbol in this season of Advent to rejoice, to realize joy in our lives, the joy that comes from our Lord.
For myself, I find in this busy season that I've not taken time to rejoice in the Lord, to name what gives me joy. My prayer many times is about my "to do list", which becomes "got to get it done list today or by Christmas." I see this challenge to name the joy in life as a way to rejoice with the Lord. I look to come to Christmas focused not on a list, but on realizing and then enjoying what brings me joy. It is in the moments of joy that we can experience the presence of our Lord. It is then that we find the strength and energy to carry on not just through life, but life in Jesus Christ.
What brings me joy this Christmas? I want that answer to affect my "to do" or "get done" list. So I'm working on a new list, including, well done Christmas liturgies, packed churches, great singing, good participation, welcoming community, and awesome preaching. The lights and decorations that light up the world, connecting me with the light of Christ in the world. The hope that there will be more day light each day. Gathering of family and friends and worried less about the food and gifts and more about just being together. A nice break from the administration work of running the parish and an opportunity to share more in prayer and celebration of the Eucharist.
What brings you joy? As we walk these days of Advent let us name our joy and plan towards experiencing that joy.