Joy: A Poem for the Third Sunday of Advent


Children sing
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!
and I agree with that sentiment.
There is a lot of joy available,
worthy of being mentioned four times,
but the down part is true, too.
Very often, the joy is buried deep below the surface,
hidden under layers of information and distraction,
a polished stone under a stack of old newspapers.

So much negative in the world today,
so much trash,
so much fear.
We bury our faces in our phones
because machines are much easier than people,
and the garbage keeps piling on,
and the joy becomes more and more a distant memory.

But joy is our birthright.
The angels told the shepherds they were bringing
good news of a great joy that will be to all people.
The good news is for us,
but we have to make room for it.
Our minds are busier
than a guest house in Bethlehem during a census —
too full for one more family,
even a small one.

The birth is coming,
the joy is promised.
May we make ready,
may we make room.
May we join together,
help each other,
and sanctify space
for God’s great gift of joy.


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