The third Sunday in Advent brings us to joy.  Advent and Christmas SHOULD be full of joy.  Most of the trappings of the holiday as we currently know it SHOULD bring us joy.  The smells (holiday cookies, pine trees), the sights (the lights, the decorations), the sounds (the carols, the bells), the tastes (chocolate candies, peppermint candy canes) and even the feel/touch (the fresh chill of the air, the warmth of a fire); they should all fill your heart and soul with joy.

But do they?  Do we allow ourselves those moments of joy or do we rush by them?

Joy is tough for me this Sunday.  Not to complain (although I do that a lot!), I and my family have been through a lot this year.  And sadly, this week was no exception when a dear friend and neighbor, lost her battle with cancer.  How can I find joy when this woman, the "mom" of our block is no longer around?  I am sad; my community is upset; a family is devastated.  How can I even think about joy?

But by not allowing joy in my heart this Advent, I am doing a disservice to my friend.  Her life was full of joy and she found a way to bring joy not just to her family and friends, but to the entire community.  She is a perfect example of how one small ripple in a pond can have a global effect.   I'm sure I'll have more to say about that in another post, but she lived her life in a true Christian way:  she lived a life full of hope, joy and love.  And she brought the same to the people that she met.  So to ignore the joy of the holiday season; a season that she celebrated and loved is to do a disservice to her.

With all that has happened to me personally this year, I know I am guilty of ignoring the joy of the season.  But as we enter the third week of Advent, I am resolved to continue to try and experience the hope, the peace and now, the joy.  To not do so would be wrong.  And in my friend's memory, I will seek out joy this day and every day.


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