Monday, December 12, 2011

Let's Celebrate Advent . . . Joy . . . Jesus Came so We Can Know Him!

As we continue to celebrate Advent, let's take a moment to think about the third Advent candle and what it reminds us of . . . Joy! Christmas is almost here . . . let's rejoice! At my home this "rejoicing" begins after Thanksgiving dinner is finished with the putting up of the tree and continues until Christmas day - I love to celebrate and what better time of year to celebrate than Christmas?! Each time my grandson comes to my home between Thanksgiving and Christmas, he gets to open a small gift - typically a book or Hot Wheels car - like I said, I love to spread out the celebrating!

I think this is like "joy"! Joy needs to be shared; it needs to be celebrated! Joy is something we can not keep to ourselves! Joy should pour our of our lives into the lives of those around us and as we think about the third Sunday of Advent, it is the perfect time to pause and think about joy! So, as we focus on Joy this Advent, be sure to take time to think about how you can allow joy to "pour out of your life into the lives of those around you" this year. What can you do to show this joy to your volunteers, the parents and children in your ministry? Consider the following . . . 
  • Joy is something you can not show if you do not have. You can't "fake" joy, but the good news is joy is a gift from God . . . one He wants you to have! It comes from the Holy Spirit and is shown in our life as fruit . . . Galatians 5:22 "But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness" (NCV) When you are spending time with God and are living in obedience to Him, joy is part of the inevitable fruit you, and others, will see in your life! Even though you may tend to be busier than ever at this time of year, always make time for spending time with God . . . when you do, you'll have joy!
  • Greet the children, volunteers and parents in your ministry with a smile! Make time, even if it is a moment, to pause, pray and then smile when you greet others! You'll find this smile, this joy will be "contagious"! Set the "pace". Set the "atmosphere" in your children's ministry by being a person who shows their joy on their face! Plus, be sure to live the joy by following I Thessalonians 5:15-18 "Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else." (NIV) Regardless of how others respond, be a person who commits to "doing what is good for each other and for everyone elseSet the "pace". Set the "atmosphere" in your children's ministry.
  • Share the joy by praying with others! I Thessalonians 5:16-18 "16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (NIV) Rejoice, pray and be thankful . . . and involve others in your rejoicing, praying and giving of thanks! Share that "contagious" smile, when you pray, ask others if they would like to join you in praying and when you share something you are thankful for, ask others what they are thankful for as well. When you do these things, you'll find others experience joy, too!
These are just a few ideas of how you can celebrate Advent and focus on the meaning of the third candle . . . Joy!

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