Advent Week 3: Joy 

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. ~ Luke 2:8-10 

“For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.” ~ Luke 4:22 

What brings people Joy? This Christmas I asked for a camera, and I have been anticipating Christmas to experience that joy of opening my gift and begin taking pictures. For others it is taking a vacation to a special destination or buying your first home. None of these things are innately wrong or bad, however they are just the tip of the iceberg.  

True Joy comes from within. We live in a world of fleeting emotions, one minute we are happy and then soon after we are craving the next thing. This is because we are constantly searching to fill an emptiness that can only be filled with Jesus.  

I challenge you to dig deeper at what truly matters and is “the good news”. Our faith, family and community are places we have an opportunity to experience that “great joy”. Why? Because knowing you are loved, cared for, and protected by others is priceless and reflects who Jesus was.  

This is exactly what Churches are doing when they support schools. Church coordinators and volunteers are providing love, care and protection from vulnerabilities to the countless families and children in Nashville and Franklin. 

As an immigrant who grew up on the poverty line, there is no comparison to the joy you receive knowing someone is in your corner and believes in you. Thank you for bringing Joy to countless families! 

Written by Marian Campos, United4Hope Program Manager