Mr. Josh Fee – Advent Week 3 – “Joy”

December 16, 2013

“Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram.” – Genesis 22:13a

It was Christmas of 1988.  I remember tearing away the red, shiny paper to reveal what I thought was one of the greatest inventions of all time next to the telephone and the light bulb, the Nintendo Entertainment System.  Is this really happening to me?  Like Ralphie uncovering his official Red Ryder, carbine-action, two-hundred shot range model BB gun in A Christmas Story, I had been waiting for these 8-bits of technological genius my whole life.  I spent the next 12 hours immersed in Super Mario’s world trying to save the Princess.  It was true joy.

Many of us have fond memories of Christmas gifts and decorations, holiday gatherings and treats.  “’Tis the season” stirs up feelings of gladness as we count the days until Christmas morn.  Life is good, right?  Though many will be sharing season’s greetings over the next few weeks, I am mindful that some of you who are reading this may be facing a particularly difficult season in your life right now, perhaps longing only for this season to pass.  “Life” may be happening to you even as the lights go up and the radio stations change their line-ups.  Sometimes it’s difficult to do the good tidings and great joy thing when there seems to be nothing good or great about what we are experiencing. 

You may think it somewhat strange to reference Genesis 22, the narrative of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, in a devotional for the third week of Advent.  Those of you who are struggling with life right now though may be having an Abraham-like moment.  Standing somewhere in the middle of trust and doubt, perhaps questioning everything, and wondering, is this really happening to me?  But, even when things didn’t make sense to Abraham and when all hope seemed to be lost, just in time, God provided a lamb. 

I don’t know who you are and I don’t know what you are going through, but I can tell you this – in this world we may have struggles and, at times, we may wonder where in the world God is when everything seems to be falling apart.  Friends, know that even when things don’t make sense and you think all hope is lost, God provided a lamb.  “His name is Jesus and He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end” (Luke 2:31-33).  This is true joy and it is for you.

- Mr. Josh Fee, Director, Adult Professional Studies

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