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Tuesday December 22, 2009

by Rev. Alejandro de la Torre
Pastor for Latino Ministries

The Joy of the World

Then Hannah prayed and said:  "My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high.  My mouth boasts over my enemies for I delight in your deliverance. 1 Samuel 2: 1

The time is ended, our process of preparation has arrived at its final stage and the big celebration that we have being waiting for is at the door; Christmas is almost here!

The joy of excitement may be felt everywhere. Hannah’s voice is an invitation to, “Rejoice,” Rejoice in the Lord.”

Yes, this time is for us to enjoy.  It is a reminder for us to live hopefully and peacefully. But, let us not confuse joy with a cynic smile that appears on our lips only when someone says, “Merry Christmas” or with a loud laugh that can deafen anyone. Joyfulness is a deep experience of serenity and calm.  It is to have confidence that everything is and will be fine.

Unfortunately, life is often hard and presents us with tough moments such as the loss of a loved one, illnesses, struggles with our finances, or simply when we do not meet our personal goals and get frustrated. In these times, it often appears impossible to express joy because the only thing we would like to do is cry. So, how can we enjoy this moment, invite others to live joyfully and be joyful in this Season? How can we be authentic in this matter? The answer certainly is that we should not find our joy in things, but in God.

Living in God’s presence is the spirit of the Season. Keeping our hope in God will produce enormous joy that will last forever. God is a fountain of hope that can fill us and make us to rejoice from our hearts.

Things in our daily lives are often not exactly as we would like them to be; without any sadness. Nevertheless, God is always with us.  As Hannah reminds us, I pray that your heart rejoices in the LORD, that your horn is lifted high, that your mouth boasts over your enemies and that you rejoice in your deliverance. Amen.

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