Pause

Joy is elusive. Just when we think we have found it, joy can be snatched from us in a single moment. Despair threatens to take its place and we find ourselves searching again for meaning.

In times like these, it is as important as ever to seek the quiet, to wait with anticipation that joy will return. These next moments hold the promise of just such a time.

When you are ready, click on “The Word of God” below for today's scripture and then continue to follow the remaining steps of the devotion.

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Listen

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed we may have confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does right has been born of him.

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

1 John 2:28-3:3

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Think

Our world was rocked this week, again, by news of the tragic school shooting in Connecticut on Friday. Today we awaken after the Advent Sunday of joy and wonder how we can even speak of joy in the wake of such violence and suffering. We feel helpless and anguished; our hearts are broken.

What shall we do? Abide. Stay the course. Believe. As Advent people we are waiting, waiting for the coming of Messiah, Savior. And this waiting is at the very heart of who we are called to be: people who defiantly live in expectation of the one who is coming to bring us joy, even in our world utterly devastated by sorrow.

Abide; don’t give up. Messiah is on the way.

Amy Butler

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Pray

Give me courage, O healer of the broken hearted, to believe a little longer. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

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Go

Move quietly now through your day.
Joy, peace and hope remain.
Seek out the company of friends,
Remind yourself that God is near,
And allow small moments of joy to return
For the healing of your heart.

Amy Butler

Amy Butler has served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. since 2003. In her free time Amy loves to travel, read, garden, and write. She often comments on faith and life in general on her blog, Talk With the Preacher. You can also read her columns every two weeks on Associated Baptist Press. Amy lives with her family in Washington, D.C.

Wexford Carol - O Come Little Children

David Burroughs

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