Advent, Week 2, Tuesday – Giving Brings Joy

Tuesday, Week 2
Giving Brings Joy

Scripture Reading
Isaiah 40:1-11

1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
   and cry to her
that her warfare[a] is ended,
   that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
   double for all her sins.
 3 A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
   and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
   and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
   and all flesh shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
6A voice says, "Cry!"
   And I said, "What shall I cry?"
 All flesh is grass,
   and all its beauty[d] is like the flower of the field.
7The grass withers, the flower fades
   when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
   surely the people are grass.
8The grass withers, the flower fades,
   but the word of our God will stand forever.
9Get you up to a high mountain,
   O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
   O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
   lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
   "Behold your God!"
10 Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
   and his arm rules for him;
 behold, his reward is with him,
   and his recompense before him.
11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
    he will gather the lambs in his arms;
 he will carry them in his bosom,
   and gently lead those that are with young.

“Don’t let anyone steal your joy”
    –Steve Fink

Several years ago, Steve Fink said those words to me and I have never forgotten them. They come to me frequently. Most recently when God told me I should participate in this journal. The word “joy” isn’t just representative of happiness, it is also representative of hope,and freedom in Christ.
My hope in Christ has been amajor part of my life in so many different ways ever since I can remember. He has been the one constant/comfort  in my life that was stable and healthy in a life filled with almost everything unstable and unhealthy.
Because of the hope and comfort I have been given by God, I offer hope and joy to others in different ways. One way I have chosen to do this is through Compassion. I adopted a little girl named Milly. She lives in Uganda Africa and will be 6 years old November 10. The money I send to her benefits her in so many more ways than it benefits me. The letters I send to her are a reminder of hope in Christ as each time she receives a letter, she knows that Christ has sent someone to love and care for her and her family. She sends me pictures and notes and they remind me of the life that Christ has given and how much we are loved as His children. We pray for each other and we “hope” to see each other soon.
In hard times, whether financial, emotional, physical or any other kind of difficulty we face, it is hard to get through. The only way that I can describe the internal hope and joy that Steve reminded me of so many years ago, comes in the form of lyrics from a christian artist, she describes it perfectly.
“It’s hard to stand, in shifting sand, it’s hard to shine, in the shadows of the night, you can’t be free if you don’t reach  for help, you can’t love if you don’t love yourself.
There is hope when my faith runs out, Cause I’m in better hands now.
It’s like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down, it’s like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground. So take this heart of mine, there’s no doubt, I’m in better hands now.”

I often look up the lyrics to songs that touch me on a very personal level. I copy and paste them into a special journal and write a short paragraph or two about how and why those words touched me. I challenge you to do the same.

April Harrington

Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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