Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Monday, December 18

By Laine Thomas

Finding Joy in the Morning

Read: Psalm 30:5

Weeping may stay for the night,

    but rejoicing comes in the morning.

It’s been a tough year in my family. Last July, we said goodbye to my amazing grandmother. At the end of June this year, we said our goodbyes to my Pop, one of the greatest men I have ever known. It’s been incredibly tough. Coming into this Advent season, there have been many days that it has been hard to picture what Christmas will look like without my grandparents. Many reading may feel this with your own losses throughout the past year.  

Yet, through all these moments, this season brings a promise of joy to my family. While some of my hardest moments were saying goodbye to people I love, I have also had the profound joy of welcoming two nieces into my family in this same tough year. They are these precious lights that constantly remind me that even when days are hard, joy is still present. I picture the joy candle in the Advent wreath. It’s the different candle of the four, a beautiful pink surrounded by the deep purples representing hope, peace, and love. It is a bright reminder that even when life is hard – when life brings us to the very edge – when you are surrounded by hope, love, and peace, joy will stand out and guide you through it.  

My family’s Christmas will be different this year. My Pop won’t be ringing the doorbell 10 times at 7 am to make sure my brother and I are awake. But, joyfully, and with all the wonderful memories of my grandparents, I will be ringing the doorbell at my brother’s house to make sure his girls are awake and ready for Christmas. Moments like that are what this season is all about. Mary and Joseph knew without a doubt that life was going to be hard for their sweet baby. It had already been tough just getting to his arrival. This season is the best reminder that we all must keep fighting and keep pushing through life’s challenges, because there is unending hope, unending love, unending peace, and unending joy in the life our Savior brought to us. It may be dark now, but rejoice. The light is coming.


Lord, guide us through these days with the joy of this season. Winter can be dark, but each dawn is a new beginning where we celebrate you and find joy, love, peace, and hope in all you give us. Let the anticipation and atmosphere bring comfort and happiness to every person celebrating your arrival in the world. Let each person know joy in whatever form it takes and let us all praise your name. Amen.

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