“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
In this week before Christmas, let us consider the Advent, or Coming, Christ our Lord and Savior.
Joy: The third Advent candle reminds us of the joyful anticipation of the shepherds who came to see Jesus in Bethlehem, even before the wise men’s arrival. As we light the third candle on when the Church calls “Gaudete Sunday,” meaning rejoice or praise, and we can rejoice like the shepherds.
It’s been a heartbreaking week as we are attending the sudden death of a dear friend, mentor and boss. Bob was 65 and leaves behind an amazing wife, three adult sons and their families including six grandchildren. Thousands of people have been impacted by his life and are grieving this loss. Joy is not the word that comes to mind.
But Bob believed in and modeled Christ as a man’s man, who believed in doing not talking - in TJC we call that “love does”. He opened his heart, home, talents and resources to build a legacy of caring and pouring into others. His family asked for donations to go to the private school his family started - details below.
Advent is about preparation for our savior, born for us to be rescued, delivered and set free through His death and resurrection. We all will experience death, but we know that we will never be separated from God. Our life will be hard, but it’s because we have purpose - we have been saved from something, for something and by something. That something is someone named Jesus Christ.
What a gift it is to live lives that have that person as our identity, belief and desire. That is the only thing that can fill us with joy.
That is what enables us to see beyond today's pain and have joy in our hearts always regardless of the circumstance.
Daily Battle Order:
This life is so very short, but we know eternity awaits us where we will experience joy beyond anything we can imagine. Take the time today to remember those we have lost and know that they are truly loved and filled now with a joy we can not even comprehend. And be bold and take every opportunity to share with others your joy and what they must do to have the same assurance.
Merry Christmas is not a day, it is our celebration of the greatest present we can ever know and share.
Bob thanks for lighting many candles