“There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.” ~ John Calvin
This Sunday in Advent asks for us to rejoice in the season. We can see the changes wherever we go during Christmastime. Colored and white twinkle lights adorn trees, houses, barns…and even gaily displayed on a whole group of people in Pelzer, South Carolina. What a delight it is to be surrounded by the joy of light and lights. Today implores us to be mindful. It asks for us to join hands in an effort to make the world a gentler place of rejoicing. What better time than now to start a journey of healing and awakening? We have the light to guide us just as the Wise Men did more than two thousand years ago.
All of this incredible celebration is shining into our hearts on Gaudete Sunday. But I want to share another kind of rejoicing that has touched me deeply. I have had the great honor and privilege of listening to the “Fifth Step” of people recovering from the chronic diseases of addiction. When one arrives at this point, a fearless moral inventory has been painstakingly prepared. Resentments have been identified. Even personal ownership in those offenses has been taken. A lifetime of secrets is shared and confessed. Burdens are set aside. A place is made for rejoicing where depression and regret once reigned. From the heart of darkness comes a beacon of hope. I have learned from these brave people that light, love, and joy can glow in the most hopeless situations. I have learned that healing and awakening are always possible. I have learned that we are never alone. I have learned that we are all in this together for a very good reason. I have learned that Christmas rejoicing can happen every day of the year if we allow it. That transformation is just what we need today.
“I don’t know what to do!” cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man.” ~ Charles Dickens