By Garrett Vickrey
Nobody does joy like a toddler. And right now nothing makes my (almost) 2 year-old daughter, Zetta, happier than hippos. There is no place that Zetta is happier to be than at the zoo in the hippo exhibit standing in front of a giant glass wall where she can watch the hippos underwater and above the waves on their little riverfront habitat. The hippos (or Ah-ppos as she would say) waddle from the rocks around their pool and flop into the water. And most of the time they float right up to the glass and press their gigantically pudgy face up against the glass.
The joy this brings is too much for a toddler. Zetta scrunches her face into a smile, squeals with joy, bobs her head side-to-side, and jumps up and down. Sometimes I get something near this response from her when I come home from work, but for the most part only the hippos receive this joyful response.
Can you remember the last time you were so joyful you lost control of your body? Maybe you jumped up on your toes. Maybe you responded with a laugh or a shout. Maybe a tear.
This Sunday we light the pink advent candle. It’s the Sunday we celebrate the joy of the hope we have in God coming among us. It’s the day we celebrate with the Shepherds. The day we marvel with Mary and Joseph. It’s the day we revel in Isaiah’s words coming to life before our eyes.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Christmas is almost here. Hope and peace are about to be born among us. Angels are singing. Shepherds rejoicing. And hippos are flopping into the water. What else can we do but rejoice?