Reflecting on the Third Week of Advent – The Joy Candle

Last week, our church lit the third candle of our advent wreath, the “Joy Candle.” Part of my Advent has been to celebrate and reflect upon the meaning of that candle throughout the week and blogging about it.

As we lit the Joy Candle, I remembered thinking what a dumb idea this was. It’s easier to walk around with hope and grace, you can look and be miserable but hey, you’re hanging on to hope and grace. We tend to think that being joyful should have affect your countenance and add a bounce in your step and parade around like your Will Farrell in Elf.

Many years ago, I used to think that joy was about “God making you happy” and spreading the “cheer” all around. But as it turns out, I had joy all wrong. I no longer think of joy as walking around with a cheesy smile on my face but more of a condition of the heart.

I’ve learned that true joy exists independent of our circumstances. For example, there are lottery winners that do not have joy and amazingly enough, you can find joy in the hearts of mourners at a funeral. For my purposes, I define joy as “the believer’s confidence in God.” If faith is the idea of “believing without seeing”, than joy is the by-product. It seems true to say that great faith tends to allow for great joy.

To borrow from the often quoted, C.S. Lewis, “Joy is the business of heaven.” It’s a great line, it’s a great sound byte and I’ve always [Read more…]