By Jodi H. Beyeler, assistant director of communications and marketing at Goshen College
Reprinted from Advent Devotions
We recently celebrated Thanksgiving in southeast Iowa. But more than the turkey or pumpkin pie (though those were tasty!), the highlight of the trip was a much-anticipated first ride in grandpa’s green combine for my three-year-old son, Arthur. We had been talking about the possibility of this for weeks and Arthur had been practicing at home with his toys. Out of great love, grandpa had left several rows of corn in the field so that Arthur could truly experience the wonders of harvest.
And the event itself was pure joy for all three of us as we passed through the rows, watched the auger dump the corn into the grain cart and saw pheasants fly out of our way. As I sit with this week’s theme of “Oh, That You Would Reveal Your Joy,” I keep coming back to those moments. It was a reminder again of how children have a way of revealing joy in the most amazing ways and surprising places. It was a reminder to allow myself to see God in the simple things. It was a reminder that what I am truly waiting for right now is for the Christ child to be born who will bring the ultimate joy of the Good News for this dark and broken world.
It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the latest headlines about terrorist acts, environmental degradation, racism. On top of that, most of us are also overwhelmed by the latest headlines in our own news feeds of friends who have lost their jobs, a relative who is being treated for cancer, a co-worker who is going through a divorce.
But the Scriptures this week have helpful words for us. We’ll be reading about how the “Lord loves justice,” that we must “hold fast to what is good,” that we are called to “bring good news to the oppressed.”
Indeed, like a child, I must choose God’s joy for my own life every day and to create joy with God for others. I must go on walks in the fresh air with a friend, blow bubbles with my son, sing hymns with college students, light candles for those experiencing loss, write notes of encouragement to my colleagues, invite a new person at church for coffee, smile at someone I don’t even know. Then I see God being revealed. Then, possibly, the world might be changed.
God, remove our fear. Reveal your joy to us. May we, like children, reveal your joy to others.