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Prayer Tip: Elf: Giving and Experiencing JOY

December 11, 2022

Daily Scripture

I Chronicles 15:16, 1 Kings 1:39-40, Luke 1:46-47 and Matthew 2:9-10 (all NRSV)

David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their kindred as the singers to play on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise loud sounds of joy.

There the priest Zadok took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” And all the people went up following him, playing on pipes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth quaked at their noise.

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

There, ahead of [the wise men], went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.

Prayer Tip

by Ashly Cooley, Executive Assistant to Locations & Care at Resurrection

I follow a group of old house lovers on Facebook. This time of year, the group shares a Christmas tree to vote on every evening. The number of different types of trees is amazing to me. Some of the trees are tall and skinny, some are tall and full. There are sparse ones with white lights and shredded fabric bows that have their own simplistic beauty, and some that are decked out top to bottom in fancy ribbon and bows. Some trees have one color theme and others are multicolored. Some trees are formal and some look like a fun kid with an amazing decorating sense styled them.

It is fun to look at the different trees and see what speaks to me most, yet they are all undeniably beautiful in their own way. As we focus on the week of Joy this Advent, it’s good to think about what sparks joy in our lives. There would be as many different answers as there are Christmas trees to choose from. We can all celebrate in the joy that God sent his son to the world to offer us salvation. So, no matter what type of Christmas tree person you are, plug in your lights and let your joy shine into the world.

Prayer Exercises for the week:

Sometimes it is easy to find things to rejoice about, sometimes not. If you are having a challenging time right now, think of some things in your life that still bring you joy even though things are difficult. Take a moment to pray and thank God that even when it is challenging there are still things that bring joy.

Draw a Christmas tree on a piece of paper. (Don’t worry, nobody needs to see it.) Then draw ornaments on the tree (simple circles will do) and in each ornament write something that brings you joy. When you are done, pray and touch each ornament, thanking God for it.

Pray asking God to show you ways you can bring Joy to other people this week.

Dear Jesus, This time of year some people are loudly singing, “Deck the Halls,” while others aren’t feeling so merry. The week of Joy during Advent is focused on something we can all find joy in–that you came to offer salvation to each of us, the most valuable gift we could ever receive. Help our awareness of this gift to light up our hearts with rejoicing. We ask this in your name, Amen.