Advent: False Joy
-Rev. Melissa Fain-
On Sundays during our livecast I've been explaining the positive attributes of Advent. On these Thursday Meditations, I want to dig deeper into those possible negative attributes.
Our first week I discussed how some hopes are left unfullfilled. The second week I discussed how the road to peace often looks anything but peaceful. Today I want to talk joy.
There are things we should be joyful for. Redemption. Love. Peace. Salvation. There are things that shouldn't bring us joy. Revenge. Suffering. False teachings. Empty love. Well, empty anything for that matter. Joy is also not something that can be planned. It's not like the Christmas season comes and everyone is all of a sudden joyful. Actually, there is statistically a rise in depression come the holiday season.
Therefore, you might get where I'm going with today's scripture. The Israelites wanted things to happen. They wanted a god that would give them everything without any work. Instead of waiting for God's timing, they decided to take matters into their own hands and craft an icon of Baal. (Better known as the "Golden Calf.") Now, in scripture, they don't even know about the commandment, "You shall worship no idols," It just so happened, Moses was, at that moment, coming down from the mountain with the commandments. Honestly, it was probably going to be a joyous moment. God gave the commandments to Moses, and now they had a precept, a set of rules. Instead, there was anger and back steps because the Israelites tried to force the point. Israelites tried to make joy instead of allowing it to come naturally.
That's what we need to remember this Christmas season. Don't force joy. If it happens, great. If it doesn't, maybe that's okay too. God will give us authentic joy when it's the right time.
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