Longing for Joy – Vicar’s weekly thought for 1st Dec

This Advent and Christmas, and then into the New Year through Epiphany, we will be speaking under the heading, ‘from longing to finding – a journey’. There are many things all of us deeply long for, but then many of us have discovered moments when in Christ we find we can say, “We found!” The full set of themes is set out inside, but we begin Advent with ‘Longing for Joy’. Every now and then Margaret and I say, “I feel like prince, like a princess!” Jesus speaks over and over again of inviting us to his feast, his table of joy. And it seems his favourite was a wedding feast. In some ways it’s only hinted at (as in today’s parable) but by the last book of the New Testament, Revelation, it’s full scale:

‘And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem,

coming down from God out of heaven

like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.’ [1]

Life seems tough, there’s a lot of waiting, a lot of persistence, a lot of faith required. Joy may sometimes seem far off, but God in his love has made our hearts for joy, and we long for it to ‘come up through the cracks’ as several Christian writers have put it. I long to know that joy of Christ, his joy over us indeed. May His Joy come to us. Amen Lord Jesus. Come!

[1] Revelation 21.2