By Emily Delgado
I have had to sit with this Advent devotion for a long me. As much as I love the Christmas season, I have felt unable to capture the Spirit in my writing, and, as a result, have found myself feeling more and more like Scrooge. It seems that everywhere I turn I am confronted not with joy, but with stress and fear of judgment. Perhaps I find it so hard to write about joy because I have developed a pattern of letting this stress crowd out the moments that bring me joy each day. I am so blessed, but somehow I’ve closed my eyes and my ears to God’s messages of joy.
I should have known then, that, just like Scrooge, my moment of clarity would not arrive until it was almost too late. But, as I sit here reading these Psalms for what seems like the hundredth me, I may have finally stumbled upon my truth: to keep joy at the center of my life, I must turn away from fear, leave the judgment to God, and return my focus to my purpose—being a beacon of His love to others. So, just as with Christmas, I will honor joy in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
Dear Heavenly Father,
As we gather again to celebrate the joy of the Christmas season, I find myself drowning within a sea of judgment. Help me to keep the joy of this season foremost in my heart, both now and throughout the year. When I am tempted towards judgment, remind me that you alone are the expert in righteousness. When I am preoccupied by the judgment of others, reveal to me instead the wonders that surround me. Let us, the creatures of the earth, focus on joy and leave the task of judgment to you. Amen.