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

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth. Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 12:2-6

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Think

There are already presents under our Christmas tree. And even though Santa doesn’t come on Christmas Eve in our house anymore, the anticipation is building. Packages have been pulled out and shaken, carefully examined as recipients anticipate their opening.

As people who wait this week in the Advent week of joy, we feel anticipation for more than gifts under a tree; we’re people who anticipate the coming of God. Perhaps we feel it less with excitement and more with desperate longing, but as we wait for Messiah this week we share the anticipation in the prophet Isaiah’s words. God is coming to live among us, to be our peace. And God’s coming to live among us is nothing short of salvation. Today our hearts are filled with anticipation of his arrival.

Amy Butler

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Pray

O God, come quickly to help us. We need you to transform our world. 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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