Advent Joy for Wednesday

The heart of God has been unveiled in the Advent of the Christ-child. He yearns to share His life with us and enjoy us forever. The King of the universe is the King of joy and love. God wants us more than we want God. It is God’s love and joy that has the power to transforms us into a people who fully trust his rule and can celebrate God’s reign with all our hearts. God finds satisfaction and joy in his love for us! God wants us to know the deep pleasure of what it means to be satisfied by his presence and rejoicing over us as his beloved, so that we too will know the Lord’s joy. God wants us to become a people of joy!

Let’s not allow the events of our world or nation to get us confused about the source of our joy or what joy is. The third Sunday of Advent invites us to remember that joy is not some feeling of fleeting optimism, but a state of mind and orientation of the heart. Joy is a satisfied state of mind that takes pleasure in the loving reign of King Jesus over our lives and turns our hearts away from fear and to the One who says, “Do not fear for I am with you, rejoicing over you with singing!” Joy is a settled state of contentment, a confidence and hope, not in ourselves, but in the faithful love of God who reigns with compassion and grace. It is the settled assurance and quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright because God’s kingdom, of which we are citizens, will never falter or fail. So joy, more than optimism or happiness, arises from the ashes of a world prone to anxiety, disappointment and fear, and strengthens my feet to walk by faith trusting in the power and promised presence of Christ in our midst by the Spirit.

~ Fred

Zephaniah 3:14-17
14 Sing for joy, Daughter Zion; shout loudly, Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
Daughter Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has removed your punishment;
He has turned back your enemy.
The King of Israel, Yahweh, is among you;
you need no longer fear harm.
16 On that day it will be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not fear; Zion, do not let your hands grow weak.
17 Yahweh your God is among you,
a mighty one who will save.
He will rejoice over you with gladness.
He will hold his peace in His love.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Psalm 16:10-11
10 For you will not abandon me to Sheol; you will not allow your faithful one to see decay.
11 You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures.

PRAYER

Lord of joy, God of dancing and celebration, awaken my heart to the joy that comes from your presence and reign. In Jesus’ name, amen.

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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