This December Lutheran Men in Mission (https://www.lutheranmeninmission.org) had multiple writers do daily devotionals for Advent. I was honored to write for December 17th…
“Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” -Psalm 30:5
In my work as a pastor and now bishop I have often felt a distinct absence of joy in many of our communities. Anxiety and disagreements over responses to the Covid-19 pandemic have only heightened the tensions in congregational and family systems. In this we reflect our divided civic society. Given all the challenges our communities face joy can seem like a frivolous or even irresponsible way of being. Yet Advent calls and challenges us to consider Joy. That even in the midst of our weeping nights we trust Joy comes in the morning.
Jesus reminds us that we are connected to Christ as the true vine so that we may have Joy. We are reminded again Joy is not some sort of illusory hope but grounded in the promises of God throughout time. And because God makes good on God’s promises we then are called, commanded even, to have Joy. This Advent I pray for you and yours that you may trust that Joy is coming because Christ, Emanuel, God with us, is coming. – Bp Erik Gronberg
Joyous God, you know our struggles and sorrows. You weep with us, you grieve with us, and because of this we know we can have Joy in you. Help us, as we prepare for the coming of Christ, to open ourselves to the promise that Joy is coming. Send us to proclaim and share that Joy with others. So that our Joy and theirs may be complete in the promises you give. In Christ, our hope and Joy, we pray. Amen.