third week of advent

Advent is a time of watching and crying out for God to come and say to those who are fearful of heart, “Be strong, do not fear!  I am coming to save you; you shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”  + Isaiah 35: 1-10

This week, let’s turn our thoughts and hearts towards those who are grieving and lonely so that God’s light and joy might overwhelm the world!



Three Candles for Hope, Peace, and Joy


“But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight.”  + Isaiah 65:18


Loving God, in this world too full of the shadows of sorrow, despair, doldrums and death, thank you for your shining promise of joy and new life.  For empowering the weak, encouraging the fearful, enriching the poor, and invigorating the dead, we sing with the angels, “Joy to the World!” – both for what you have done, and for what you are yet to do.  Thank you for coming to us, filling our lives with glimmers of light, seeds of joy, foretastes of things to come.  May your presence banish forever the shadows of sorrow.  Amen.


Monday:  Celebrate St. Lucy’s Feast Day by putting up your Christmas lights today (if you haven’t already!), or adding a few extra tea lights to a window sill or some pink candles to your mantle.  Take a page from Lucy’s life and never hide your light under a bushel basket, but let it shine for all to see.

Tuesday:  Wake up early and watch God’s sunrise.  Be filled with wonder and comfort:  the sun always rises; shadows and sorrow do not last forever; and soon (in just one week!) the days will begin getting longer again!

Wednesday:  Say a prayer for all those who have lost their joy, or feel it slipping away.  Give them a call; hold them in your heart, safe and secure from all alarm.

Thursday:  Read Matthew’s version of Jesus’ genealogy (Matthew 1:1-17).  Included are five women with disreputable histories: Tamar (Genesis 38), Rahab (Joshua 2), Ruth (Book of Ruth), Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), and Mary (Matthew 1).  What does this say about Jesus, about God, about what God is doing in the world?

Friday:  Celebrate your genealogy!  Think about how your parents, grandparents, or other family figures have made a difference in your life.  Write them a note and let them how much you love and appreciate them.


“God will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” + Job 8:21


Thanks to Emilie Eagan for this elegant and timeless mantle.