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Today is the third Sunday in December. Around the world millions of Christians will light the third candle in their Advent Wreath. A myriad of traditions will follow: perhaps, an early Christmas celebration with family and friends, or even Christmas dinner spent visiting Grandparents this weekend, so all the children can be tucked in, all snuggled up at home, listening for jingle bells on Christmas Eve.
I cannot sit here and write this without mentioning the terrible, tragic event that took place this past week in Newtown, Connecticut: innocent victims, the majority, small young children, gunned down while at school. A place once believed to be a safe haven for all American children. But the last decade or two has proven there is truly no safe haven here on this earth. Not for those poor young children, not for millions of children around the world , not for anyone, anywhere, not here within this world!
I cannot sit here and write about lighting the third candle, representative of 'Joy,' without expressing heartfelt sorrow for the students killed in Newtown this past week, and their families. I cannot write this without taking a moment to reflect on the anguish of those left behind to grieve their loss. I, we, all of us, must take a little time to reflect in quiet meditation and prayer for all children, all human beings, all living creatures, that suffer and endure seemingly senseless acts of horror, agony and tragedy, for it is the way of the world.
Our Lord Jesus knew this, yet, still He endured. He wept (John 11:35). Yet, He went on. He knew to endure and overcome all of this world's misery would lead Him to true 'Joy' in the purest form. The joy that comes from another place. Our true home. This world is not our home. We are merely passing through. Only God knows why we are here, where we are headed, and how we will leave this world.
Today, as many days, will be very difficult for millions of people all over the world. Today, we Christians, light the third candle of 'Advent', the purple candle of 'Joy'. We do so with full knowledge that we too, as believers, will also overcome this world some day. We too shall rise again as Jesus did and take our place in His Kingdom, all suffering gone, all agony ceased, no tears, no grieving, no suffering of any kind, only joy!
~Because I could not stop for death-
He kindly stopped for me-
The carriage held but just Ourselves-
Because I Could Not Stop For Death
Turn, Turn, Turn,
You will not take from me my joy!
You dark prince rising from the
Depths of Hell-
Roaming to and fro
Roaming to and fro
Upon this earth -
Everywhere you go.
My Joy resides in the Lord.
Of this, I , you and He do surely know!
~God bless to each and everyone~