Advent: Joy, Defined

Neil McKown, Director of Student Ministries, shares thoughts about the season below. Join in the conversation in the comment section, and find more resources in our weekly e-news during the month of December.

Let's play a variation of one of my favorite board games—Balderdash!

So I’m going to give you a word, then you are going to write down a definition. It could be an honest attempt to guess the correct definition, or—if you don’t know or choose to make one up for tactical reasons—a fake definition designed to sound convincing and hood-wink the rest of us. 

Are you ready? The word is (drum roll) . . . Joy! J-O-Y, joy. Pronounced /dʒɔɪ/. So, please jot down a definition for joy. (Insert Jeopardy theme music here.)

Joy is ________________.
— You

What did you write down? What is joy to you? Here's what the dictionary says: Joy is the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation. Joy as a verb means to feel joy, be glad, rejoice.

In this third week of Advent we focus on joy!

We have much to be joyous for wouldn’t you say?! The birth of the Messiah prophesied in Micah 5:2—“But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.” This baby born in a manger who would later bear the weight of the sins of the world.

So the joy of Jesus’s birth approaching should cause us to be joyous as we continue to prepare for and await his coming. This week find your joy. Be filled with happiness at work, take delight and pleasure in Christmas preparations, enjoy spending time with your family and friends. Maybe you'll find it as the feeling of bliss in that third slice of pecan pie. But wherever you encounter joy, let it seep in, ooze, pour out in your daily life.

Rejoice! For the Lord is near!

This Week's Question:

What was your Balderdash-ian definition of joy? How will you seek joy this week?

Share your ideas in the comment section below . . .