With all the strains of the world, with all the stresses of extra Advent/Christmas church events & worship services & family get-togethers & present-shopping, with all the ghosts of past expectations & all the spirits of current nail-biting hopes, the proximity of Christmas dares to proclaim something radically different: JOY!

JOY: “a whisper, a hint. It’s a gnat that you can’t quite catch. It’s a lightning bug that rises on a summer night and fades away. It’s the spark in the fireplace, popping and vanishing up the chimney.” (An Unfinished Symphony)

JOY, because “we are absolutely vulnerable and marvelously strong, each needing a circle of love.” (Gifts in Open Hands)

JOY, “that the promises we celebrate at Christmas endure beyond those first 24 hours.” (Coffeehouse Contemplative)

JOY, because “isn’t it possible that following that light, like a star, it might guide us, too, to places beyond our dreaming?” (Writing with a View of the Graveyard)

JOY, because we have the opportunity of “blessing others with the joys of the season.  This is a great time to double our tips in diners and tell our postal workers how awesome they are.” (achurchforstarvingartists)

JOY, “for You, O God, have marked us as your own and written our names across your palm.” (Be Thou My Vision)

JOY, because “God’s future visits us whether we are ready for it or not.” (anglobaptist)

May Divine Joy sustain you, delight you, surprise you, and outpour through your words & deeds & relationships on this Christmas weekend.


Rachel G. Hackenberg is a United Church of Christ minister, blogger, and the author of Writing to God: 40 Days of Praying with My Pen.


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2 thoughts on “Friday Festival: Christmas Joy

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