The Advent of Joy
It’s not news that cynicism runs wild within us and in our culture. In some ways, cynicism has a sort of glamour. It makes us feel tough to not have too many hopes and to be able to see through the dreams of others. It protects us from disappointment. It’s a defense against suffering. We are all cynics in some capacity, but what that really means is that we are people who are recovering from having hopes that are too painful to avow.
Okay, maybe that was a little too deep for an article during the Advent season that is on the subject of joy… but here we are. Side note: I feel like I don’t take the word “joy” seriously. I won’t project that on to you, but I can say for me that “joy” was just an empty word Christians used to mean “happy.” Well, I’m “happy” to say that viewpoint has changed.
What destroys the world’s cynicism? It’s kindness. Kindness that rekindles our stunted and secret desires for hope. Kindness is selfless. Kindness is sacrificial. It’s kindness that is a pathway for joy. That’s why when we are asked the question, “What gives you true joy?” When we think deeply about it, the answer is typically that we find great joy in being able to give to others.
That’s what God did for us. He gave us the greatest gift of all, Jesus – the one who was selfless, sacrificial, and kind. The one who made hope, peace, love and joy possible. So let’s make “joy” serious business and give that same gift to someone else.