A Thriving Spiritual Community

Annisquam Village Church Logo

Annisquam
Village Church

820 Washington St.
Gloucester, MA

Annisquam Village Church Logo

Annisquam
Village Church

820 Washington St.
Gloucester, MA

A Thriving Spiritual Community

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Lighting the Candle of Joy

December 12, 2020

This Sunday, the third Sunday in Advent, we will light three candles on the Advent wreath: The candle of hope, the candle of faith and the pink candle, which is the candle of JOY. When Jock and Vicki Bourneuf light the advent candles, Vicki will read:

“We embrace the joy that comes from the beauty of tradition, the beauty of memory, the beauty of music, decorations, and lights; and most of all, the beauty of love that is at the heart of this season. We light this pink candle of joy [knowing] that even in 2020, there is much to celebrate.”

We all know what happiness feels like, but what does it mean to rejoice? To feel great joy? How is Joy different from happiness? What makes you feel happy? Eating homemade cookies or your favorite snack, doing cartwheels, or making snowmen can all make you feel happy. We feel happy when we attend a birthday party, when we finally see a new movie, or when we are given special toy.

We feel joy when we are with people we love. Joy grows from memories of wonderful moments with friends or family. It grows from traditions that we repeat year after year, and music that we love. We feel joy and rejoice when something wonderful happens, when we see someone we love after a very long time apart, or when two people marry. When we are feeling sad or lonely, we can remember that God is always with us, and find joy and comfort.

How can you share joy? By being thoughtful, by helping people and telling them stories, by hugging them, and telling them you love them. Many of you will be part of this year’s Christmas pageant. It will be shared with everyone on Christmas Eve. We are all looking forward to it, and I know that the pageant will bring joy to our hearts.

Parents feel joy when a new baby is born. On Sunday, Julie Carbin will read a joyful prayer of Mary. Mary heard that she had been blessed by God, and would be the mother of the baby Jesus. She was filled with joy and praised God. If you have some quiet time this week, you or your family might enjoy coloring this image of Mary, who is surrounded by Joy.

“The Ode to Joy” is a very famous musical piece, written almost two hundred years ago by Ludwig Beethoven. The video below will be shared with everyone in church on Sunday, but I thought I would share it with you ahead of time! I hope you can feel the joy of this beautiful music that you see the joy of the people who are playing the music, and feel the joy of the people who are singing. They shared their joy by surprising the crowds in Nurnberg with this wonderful performance. The music brought tears of joy to my eyes. Flashmob Nürnberg 2014 – Ode to Joy

May you find joy in many unexpected moments.

Hope to see you on Zoom tomorrow for worship at ten o’clock in the morning!

~ Peg Koller ~

Here is a prayer for you. I have started it, but you can add things to it that bring you joy.

Gracious God,
We are grateful for the joy that we feel:
For the joy that grows from the love around us and inside us,
For the joy of new discoveries,
For the joy of spending time with friends,
For the joy of music and the joy of traditions
And for these special joys: (add your joys here…)
Amen.