Joy – The Third Sunday of Advent

by | Dec 8, 2022 | Uncategorized

Thank you for joining with us to celebrate Advent together! Whether you want to light the candle with us while watching the video or wish to use the video to inspire your own couple or family time, we are so grateful to be on this journey of remembrance with you!

Our prayer is that together we will experience more of God’s good gifts — especially more of Jesus. And please remember to check out the Advent calendar we made for you and the devotional below. We hope these tools lead to deeper conversations, more joy and more meaning as you celebrate Advent together!

Here are Sandy and Jason Yuen (FamilyLife Regional Representatives for Ontario) along with their three children as they share about joy on this third Sunday and week of Advent:

Please join us in lighting the third candle of Advent (The Candle of Joy) and doing the devotional below together:

Devotional (by Lydia Nigh)

“In Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was a good and godly man. He was waiting for God’s promise to Israel to come true. The Holy Spirit was with him. The Spirit had told Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. The Spirit led him into the temple courtyard. Then Jesus’ parents brought the child in. They came to do for him what the Law required. Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. 

He said, ‘Lord, you are the King over all. Now let me, your servant, go in peace. That is what you promised. My eyes have seen your salvation. You have prepared it in the sight of all nations. It is a light to be given to the Gentiles. It will be the glory of your people Israel.’

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them. He said to Mary, Jesus’ mother, ‘This child is going to cause many people in Israel to fall and to rise. God has sent him. But many will speak against him. The thoughts of many hearts will be known. A sword will wound your own soul too.’” Luke 2:25-35 (NIRV)   

Have you ever waited a very long time for something special to happen? A sparkle in someone’s eye when they saw you? A bended knee as you are asked for your hand in marriage? A baby soon to be born after many months of a difficult pregnancy? 

Last year, our first grandchild was born. He lives 4,266 km away. (I Googled it.) When we finally got to meet him in person, the wait had felt like forever.

Simeon waited a very long time. He must have been very, very old because death was on his mind. But he was sustained by this encouragement from God, “The Spirit had told Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” Waiting is not easy. Day after day, we imagine Simeon wondering and waiting. And then…!

A young couple with a baby walked into the temple. The Spirit nudged Simeon and he found himself moving towards them. And then faster, as quickly as he could shuffle his old feet. The Spirit was speaking, “This is the One!”  And then, oh at last! He had the baby in his arms — the tears and emotions overflowed after waiting so long. To finally receive what he had been yearning for… what joy! 

This Christmas, may you experience echoes of this joy. May God sustain you as you wait expectantly and fill you with hope and peace and joy.

Go Deeper Together

1. In what small or big areas of your life are you sensing joy?
2. What steps will you take as a couple to pause and experience joy in the moment this Christmas season? 
3. In what ways can you reach out to each other, your family or your neighbours and bring joy into their lives?

A Closing Prayer

Lord Jesus, you brought joy to Simeon and you bring joy to us. Help us to see you every day and hold on to you and to joy, even in the hard times. Let us be conduits of love and good news and bring joy to others too. Amen.

“I pray that God, the source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (The Voice)

For previous weeks, see:
Hope – The First Sunday of Advent
Peace – The Second Sunday of Advent

Photo by Ekaterina Shakharova on Unsplash