Share the Joy
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God (El Gabor),
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The birth of each of my children brought great joy to our lives. Rachel was born while Dave was in seminary, and I worked as a chemistry/physics teacher in a local High School. Having a baby was a joyful time, seeing her “firsts.” First smile, first laugh, first food, all burned joy into my heart. I loved being a mom and never wanted to leave her.
How my heart broke the first day I had to go back to work six weeks after her birth. Worry, separation anxiety, and fear rolled over me every day. These strong emotions caused me to want to stop teaching and to ask Dave to quit seminary and his pursuit of a military career. As my heart ached each day, I started to pray for God to change me and my selfish thoughts of pulling my husband away from his dream.
God reminded me of all the joyful moments in my heart. Then He added joy from new moments–when my daughter first saw me as I came home from school, when she woke up each morning and reached up for me to get her, and the smile when she splashed me during bath time. These moments of joy reminded me of God’s presence, His provisions, and His love as my Father.
Joy is beyond happiness. It is defined as “to experience great pleasure or delight.” When I look towards the coming celebration of the birth of our Savior and to His Second coming, it fills me with joy and longing. I want to spend eternity with God, His love, peace, and presence. Yet the thought of eternity with God also fills me with urgency. The urgency to share the Gospel with people around me, to serve God and know Him more. Even though He doesn’t change, I desire to change to become more like Him.
The third candle is the Joy candle; it is the pink one. Joy of the coming birth, the second coming, and the forgiveness Christ has given. Joy! Lighting this candle reminds us of the prophecies, and faith candles. This candle is a different color because tradition had people fasting the first two weeks of Advent and stopping on this Sunday, which for me would bring great joy. As we look at the names we are studying this advent season, we have learned Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God. This week we will learn about our Everlasting Father.
Everlasting Father is “Aviad” in Hebrew. It can be translated as Father of Eternity. Jesus, as part of the Trinity, was part of Creation and His kingdom will continue for eternity. God is also our Father. He is our loving, caring Father. King Solomon and Moses remind us of God’s eternal nature.
May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun!
May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed!
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Isaiah reminds us that God is our Father and He is our Redeemer. He sent His Son to die for our sins which started in Genesis and will continue until Jesus returns. The Advent season reminds us that God is eternal and His love is everlasting. He is our Everlasting Father, who loves us and gives us joy. He doesn’t grow weary, he wants everyone to hear the Gospel.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
We can’t fathom His love for us, His steadfast, unending love. The love that sent His Son to redeem us.
For you are our Father,
though Abraham does not know us,
and Israel does not acknowledge us;
you, O Lord, are our Father,
our Redeemer from of old is your name.
As we light the Joy Candle, we are reminded of the joy of the Second Coming and His birth. The joy of a new family, as well as the return of our King.
Verses to discuss:
Hymns to sing with your family:
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
Away in the Manger
Joy to the World
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