Looking for Joy

posted Dec 21, 2018, 10:43 AM by Tricia Sheffield   [ updated Dec 21, 2018, 10:44 AM ]

Advent blessings of hope, peace, and joy to you!

We are in the week of the Third Sunday of Advent. The focus for the week is joy. So, on Sunday, I made a commitment to practice looking for joy in whatever and whomever the Spirit led me. And what I found out was interesting. As I was more attuned to seeking out joy, I was then able to experience joy and feel the steadfast presence of God more deeply. Here are a few examples of finding joy from the week:

Sunday: In three little “sheep” running barefoot down the church aisle to their appointed place in the choir; in the laughter and conversation heard in Coventry House at our annual Christmas party

Monday: As I co-led the New Jericho Choir rehearsal, especially little Quinn sitting on my lap while we sang, “Gloria in excelsis Deo . . .”

Tuesday: Having a rich theological discussion with one of our members over lunch, and then holding the presence of the holy with the caregivers group

Wednesday: Opening a present from two of our young ones. It was a charm bracelet with the inscription “Amazing Grace,” which brought tears of joy to my eyes because grace is the most important aspect of my relationship with God. And another moment was lunch spent with a beloved member celebrating her birthday.

Thursday: Serving communion at the home of someone who is unable to come to church, and buying a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree for the choir kids

Friday: Although this morning started off sad as I found one of my barn cats (Lida) dead in the garage, I laughed earlier when I called out to Eliza, the littlest fawn in the forest, and she perked her head up and came walking toward me. 

And there have been so many more instances of seeing and hearing God’s joy this week, but time and space prevent me from writing them all down here.

What joy will the rest of the week bring, I wonder?

Beloved, I know that sometimes God’s joy may be difficult to experience in our lives, but I encourage you to look for it; seek it out; be still; listen for it. What brings you joy may also end up surprising you in delightful, unexpected ways. Sometimes it’s as loud and obvious as the voices of children singing out “Gloria!"; as quiet as the tinkling of a charm that whispers “amazing grace”; or as sweet as the face of a tiny deer.

Truly, I love serving as your pastor. As I listen to the gentle sound of the rain falling on the ever-growing and deepening puddles, I am grateful for the joy you give me, and for the joy you share with our church family and our wider community.

In gratitude for the privilege of being your Pastor, and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish