This is the season of rejoicing! But every day, I hear of someone who feels they have no reason to rejoice. Yesterday was the third Sunday in Advent, the Sunday of joy. But in the world these days, there seems to be a shortage of joy. We are a people divided in many ways. And our divisions rob us of the joy of this holy season.
There is no simple remedy, but prayer is the path to a kinder world, a world in which joy is possible. The beloved hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” expresses such a prayer with these words:
O come, Desire of Nations, bind in one the hearts of humankind,
O bid our sad divisions cease, and be yourself our King of Peace.
And my favorite stanza:
O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night;
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
In this special time of year, may we each find small ways to cheer our spirits,”to disperse the gloomy clouds of night,” to rejoice in this season of joy, peace, hope and love.