Today is the third sunday of Advent and the focus is on the gift of Joy. Joy is a calm delight and is different from happiness in that it is not dependent on our circumstances. Joy is based on faith. The belief that things will turn out for our good no matter how dismal they look at the time.

Imagine with me Mary and Joseph way back when. The angel visited Mary and spoke to her telling her should was going to have a child and the child would be the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Normally, the news of a pregnancy is a time for great joy, but Mary was not yet married to Joseph and in those days, she could have been stoned to death for getting pregnant out of wedlock.

But Mary chose the path of faith, and rejoiced at the news the angel brought. That is the choice each of us has today as we face our trials and tribulations. We can choose to be joyful and praise God for what He is doing even if we don’t understand it.

This week focus on the gift of joy in your life. Focus on the goodness of God and joy will well up in you like a fountain. May you be filled with joy today and each day of the New Year!

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