In Featured, Pastor Paul's Blog

By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘JOY’ as in… Immanuel, God with us, is coming!

On this Third Sunday in the Season of Advent, we getting closer to the celebration of Christmas! Pretty intense, isn’t it? So, how’s you “Joy-o-meter?” More to the point, how’s your “Stress-o-meter?” If you’re like, well, like a lot of people, it’s probably safe to say that the fine line between joy and stress is beginning to blur.

The fourth weekend in the season of Advent is yet another reminder that while there still may be shopping to do and nearly all of the chocolate in the Advent calendar has been consumed, the waiting is nearly over! Even the Nativity scene under your tree is complete; the donkeys, camels, and sheep, a little boy with a drum, some angels and the Wise Men are all present. It’s almost perfect!

All we need now is the birth of the baby, right? All we need now is for Mary to deliver The Greatest Gift to the world, and then it will be perfect. Right? Christmas as usual, right? Isn’t that what we’re waiting for; Christmas as usual?

The truth is, none of us is waiting for Christmas as usual, because for so many, “usual” Christmas is rarely what we hope for. While we do our best to plan it into perfection, more often than not we experience the opposite. We experience an emptiness that we’ve felt before.

But it doesn’t have to be that way…

The story from the Gospel is clear, bold, powerful, full of wonder, and changes everything! The angel announces the “Good News of a great joy” centering in Jesus, the Savior of the world! The Messiah, who is Christ the Lord, is the one whose birth into our reality, into our lives, into our jobs and classrooms, into our neighborhoods and homes, our conversations and relationships fills the empty places—all of the empty places!

Immanuel—God is finally, fully with us which makes these word so joyful: “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”



Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50works project, where be blogs about a different word each day. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche), or on his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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