Joy | Advent: Week 3

Joy isn’t just a happy, warm feeling in our bellies, it’s a powerful act of defiance against despair and discouragement.

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Merry Christmas.

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We're so glad to have you joining us here at Crossroads online.

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My name's Lena Schuler, the Crossroads Anywhere Community Pastor.

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I hope you like my attire right now.

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I'm here with my dad and boss and friend, Brian Tome.

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- Hey, it's great to be with everybody right now.

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I'm admiring your look.

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It's very, very impressive.

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- You like it?

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- I do.

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- My sweater says bundle of joy, which is twofold.

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One, I'm pregnant with a bundle of joy.

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And two, we're talking about joy this week.

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So one of the things that I thought would give
us some joy is if you looked like me.

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- I'm not going to look like you.

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That's not going to happen.

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why I look like you.

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- Ironically, I look like you, which is funny.

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But I actually brought you something.

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- Yes.

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- We know how much you love Peanut, your dog.

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- I do love Peanut.

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Who doesn't love Peanut?

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Everyone loves Peanut.

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- You love Peanut.

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So I thought that you could have fun today.

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- We right now should have a little picture,
real life picture of Peanut coming up right now.

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- Yes.

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- All right. Good.

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- So it's ugly Christmas sweater weekend.

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And we got you a very festive sweater with a dog like Peanut.

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- That does look like Peanut.

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- Yes, I know, so it's the perfect sweater for you.

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Which means I think you should put it on.

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- You want me to wear it?

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- Yeah.

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- All right, that's fine.

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- While you put that on, it is ugly
Christmas sweater weekend across all of our sites.

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And people all over the country are wearing ugly Christmas sweaters right now.

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So we wanted to participate, too, as a church because we can.

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And I can't stop looking over here because you look so funny.

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I like it. I like it.

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I got I got Peanut nice and close to my heart here.

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I got a little, all kinds of stuff going on here.

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- But it really -- the black shirt really play well with the fuzzy neckline.

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- I have to have that on or else my trap are just like bam, bam.

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And like it would blow out Christmas holiday
tubes in every TV all across our nation.

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- Holiday tubes?

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- Yes. Whatever.

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- Yeah. OK.

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Well, I think that you need to complete your outfit
with a headband just to make it really real.

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Man, you've never looked better.

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- I am Christmas, man. All Christmas, all the time.

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This is very fun.

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But it's one things that we want to be about as a church, we want to be fun.

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- Yeah.

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- We need to be able to laugh at ourselves.

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We ought to be able do stupid things.

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The world is taking itself way too seriously.

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Everyone's on edge and everyone's like wondering what's happening.

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Hey, how about we just relax?

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All of us, in fact, let's do an inhale and exhale together.

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One, two, three. [inhales]

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Let's just live a little lightly, and if
that means wearing a stupid, ugly sweater.

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Although this one isn't that ugly, because
whatever Peanut is on, nothing is ugly.

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- You do jingle a little.

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[laughs] Great.

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Speaking of living lightly, last week you helped
us do that in talking about peace.

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- Peace. Yeah.

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- In this Advent series we're in today and today, we're talking about joy.

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Why are we in an Advent series to begin with?

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- So Advent is somethein that's been around for, gosh, probably 1500 years.

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Followers of Jesus have been doing this wreath in some way, shape, or form.

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We're looking at key elements of what Jesus brings to us.

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Of course, Christmas is about the world having Jesus brought to them.

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And so these four key elements, character qualities of
the advent or the arrival of are critical.

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So first week was hope.

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Second week was peace.

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This week is going to be joy.

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But yeah, peace.

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I realize with these things that we're looking at,

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we're not going to get these anywhere else in the world.

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ABC Nightly News, CNN, Fox News, they're not interested
in giving you hope or joy or peace.

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We can't find these things anywhere other than in Jesus.

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And that's what Christmas is about.

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It's about Him.

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So I've been pretty stoked about what's been happening in this series so far.

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- That's right.

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And the Advent series comes to a close on Christmas Eve

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where we have services happening in all of our locations

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and right here online on Christmas Eve at 1 p.m.,

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3 p.m., 5 p.m.

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And then we go On-Demand after that.

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And we're gonna be live right here at Crossroads Oakley for the service.

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And it's gonna be great.

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The other thing that we do at Christmas

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that we've done as a church for years and years has been Awaited.

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So let's see a little bit of what Awaited looks like

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to just get you excited about what you could experience this Christmas.

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Awaited: a beloved holiday tradition experienced by over half a million people.

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Feel the wonder, the joy, and the hope of the holidays.

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Experience the traditional Christmas story brought to
life in a completely new way.

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Coming to the Aronoff Center, visit CincinnatiArts.org.

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- All right.

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Well, that video right there is nostalgic for me

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because it's part of how I've celebrated Christmas for the last 12 years.

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And I'm excited that we get to do it again together as a family this year.

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So you can head to awaitedshow.com

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to get tickets today

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if you're gonna be in the greater Cincinnati area.

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And today, we are celebrating together the Advent of Joy.

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Jesus offers us a life of joy.

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A baby born in the city of Bethlehem 2000 years ago

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came for the shepherds, came for the Kings.

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He was sent for you and for me.

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A rescuer sent to save the world from itself.

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Jesus, the King, came so that every single one of us,

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shepherds and sheep alike, could have a chance at a full, thriving life.

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When we say yes to this life of joy
He brings, gratitude bubbles over in to praise.

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Today we joyfully celebrate the one who brings us life.

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- Well, nothing says joy like an ugly sweater.

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Right?

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Well, hey, my name's Justin.

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Welcome to Ugly Sweater Weekend here at Crossroads.

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Some of ya'll didn't get the memo, but some of ya'll did right down here, right?

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Right.

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So make some noise in the place if you're rocking an ugly sweater.

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[cheers] There you go.

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Hey, can we give it up for the band?

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Show some love to the band.

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I mean, they went all out, like Hannah and Sophie.

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Ya'll showed some dedication, some dedication there.

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Well, hey, we like to laugh a lot around here and have fun.

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We don't take ourselves too seriously.

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So go ahead and stand up.

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If you're at home or online or at a coffee
shop, man, turn it up, lean in with us.

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We're going to sing together about the joy that we
have and about the One who gives us that joy.

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So, we're glad you're here. Let's sing together.

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- Yes, joy to the world.

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That's right.

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It's ugly sweater weekend.

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I'm in it to win it.

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In it to win it.

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Some pretty sad sacks up here.

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I'm not -- Sophie, that's not too bad.

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It says sweater, not the thing you sleep in at night.

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A sweater.

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Are you married?

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- No.

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- That's why, right there.

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That's exactly why right there.

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What is up with the Bengals?

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This is not a Bengal's sweater thing.

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It's a Christmas sweater.

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Oh, do we have to hug right now?

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I'm so sorry, sweetie.

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That's one of my -- That's one of my --

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That's one of my love languages is verbal abuse.

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Sophie knows that.

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Hey, this song, Joy The World is actually my favorite Christmas song.

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And Chuck is going to be talking about it in a little bit, the concept of joy.

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Joy is not happiness.

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Happiness is when good things are happening.

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Joy is something that is much deeper, much
wider, and much more unexpected than that.

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It's not dependent on what's going on around us.

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It's dependent on God and being in connection with Him.

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The Book of Romans 15:13, it says this:

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And the God of all hope fill you with joy, fill you.

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And we need hope when things aren't going that great in our lives.

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Some of us have lives that are going just as we planned

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or even better than we planned, it all good.

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All good.

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Some of us have lives that are just, they're not going as we planned.

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It's not all good.

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And yet Joy is an equal gift that God can give to all of us,

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He can fill all of us with.

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In the book of 2 Corinthians 7:4 it says:

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Well, what kind of afflictions might those be?

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It might be in my credit card debt I am filled with joy.

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In my separation I'm filled with joy.

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In my infertility I'm filled with joy.

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In my dead end job I'm filled with joy.

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In my loneliness I am filled with joy.

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In my frustration I am filled with joy.

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Joy is something that God gives us, just like He gives us His Son.

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The key line I love in this song is make Him room.

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You and I have to make a decision whether or not we will make room for Jesus.

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We have to make a decision whether we will make room for Him and His joy.

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And when we do and His joy fills our lives,

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no circumstance that we're dealing with can stand against the joy of God.

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So God, I pray that we would have joy today, You'd fill us with joy.

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We want to sing this song right now to train ourselves to have joy.

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We pray these things in Your name.

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Amen.

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Let me pray for us.

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God, I thank you.

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You put joy in a deeper place than just up on the surface.

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Like the things that I can just, I don't know,

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the things that are easy they're not often the best for me.

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The things that dwell deep down inside,

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that come with searching and even come with pain.

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I dig down deep and find this treasure that is joy and hope and peace and love.

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That's when I come alive.

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That's what I recognize there's something bigger than me happening.

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There's something deeper going on.

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I thank You and I sing to You because of that.

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So thank You for movement.

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Thank You for some sweaters and some laughter

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and some joy in the midst of what we face right now.

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God, we love You and I love You.

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And I thank you for Jesus, for showing us what joy, what life looks like.

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I pray this way because of You.

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Jesus, Amen.

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- Christmas songs are actually opportunity for us to worship.

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And one of the most worshipful moments I've had

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in the midst of Christmas songs was a few years ago at Awaited.

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So I brought my friends Meghan and Lauren with me to Awaited one year.

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And at the end we're standing and we're singing Joy to the World.

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And my friend Megan just has tears streaming down her face.

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And so it ends and I'm kind of wondering like what's happening here?

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And so I just asked her, I said, "Hey, what'd you think?

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It seems like you're feeling something new right now."

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She looked at me and she said, "I never
knew that that was what Christmas was about."

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She said, "This changes everything."

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Which I chuckled at a little bit because that line,

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"This changes everything," is actually part of the Awaited show.

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And she meant it wholeheartedly.

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The joy I had in that moment of knowing that Jesus just broke into Megan's life

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in a new and fresh way was unlike anything else

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that I get to feel anywhere else during my week

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or during my year or during work or during any of the other parts of life.

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And so I had such joy seeing Meghan receive Jesus.

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And I believe that God had such joy seeing Megan receive His Son Jesus

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through the church because He loves His church.

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And so if you want to give to the church,

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you can do that by heading to Crossroads.net/give.

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And I do that because I love seeing how my
friends are meeting Jesus in the midst of Crossroads.

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And today we're going to head right into the Advent of joy.

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- Thanks for being at Crossroads.

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It is ugly sweater weekend and I'm in it to win it.

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I mean, when I saw this sweater, I said, "I have to get this.

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This is my Christmas sweater."

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I mean, when your name is in the Christmas
sweater, you know it's time to buy that thing.

244
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So people have asked me, like, did you custom order that?

245
00:22:09.160 --> 00:22:10.530
No, I actually just did a search.

246
00:22:10.800 --> 00:22:15.960
And when I saw fa la la la Mingo, I
said, that is fa la la la my Christmas sweater.

247
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Doing that thing.

248
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It's a joyful time.

249
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It's been fun to see people online and in
our sites and locations wearing their ugly sweaters.

250
00:22:25.590 --> 00:22:28.040
All of the community pastors have gotten in on the action.

251
00:22:28.050 --> 00:22:32.710
So we've got a bunch of my teammates,
my community pastor teammates in their sweaters.

252
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I love this one right here.

253
00:22:33.630 --> 00:22:34.830
I don't know if you can see this or not.

254
00:22:35.010 --> 00:22:36.780
This is Josh Wade from Uptown.

255
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He's got Mike Tyson in the middle of a sweater saying "Merry Chrithmith."

256
00:22:41.790 --> 00:22:44.070
[laughter] That's good. That's really good.

257
00:22:44.390 --> 00:22:48.890
And we've got other community pastors from all of
our locations that got in on the action.

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You'll be seeing those pictures scrolling.

259
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Now, here's here's the thing.

260
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You might think you have the ugliest Christmas sweater.

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If that's the case, we want you to tag us @crdschurch in your Instagram story.

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Who knows? We might put that into our full national feed.

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And we will share your ugliness with the rest of the world.

264
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So I'm just telling you, this is a great opportunity for you

265
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to represent your ugly Christmas sweaters.

266
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So all of these are my teammates doing this.

267
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But I want to pause here because

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I am really excited about this community pastor who does slay.

269
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Her name is Vicki Diller

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and very soon she's going to be launching our 13th site, Crossroads Columbus.

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Can we hear it for Crossroads Columbus?

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[applause]

273
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Yes, man, I'm excited about this for a bunch of reasons.

274
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I'm always excited when we open a new location.

275
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It is a really big deal.

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We believe that God has called us as a church

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to reach people where they are and to expand the message of Jesus.

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And we think we have a unique language and dialect and how we do that.

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And so I'm excited that people in Columbus will have a Crossroads

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that they can jump in and be a part of.

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I'm also very, very excited because Vicki is leading this camp.

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Vicki is someone who I've known for years.

283
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Actually, Vicki used to babysit my wife and I's children.

284
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She lived right behind us.

285
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And so I got to watch her and her husband, Tony,

286
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kind of grow in their marriage, grow as followers of Jesus.

287
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In fact, she used to be on our Oakley team here leading our Kids' Club team.

288
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And so I have just seen her blossom and she's an incredible leader.

289
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And I am so excited for her to be leading Crossroads Columbus.

290
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And so you might know people in the
Columbus area, you might have friends or family.

291
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And we want them to know that we're coming to their neighborhood.

292
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So, if you go to Crossroads.net/columbusinvite,

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you will find information

294
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and tools that you can use to encourage your friends

295
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to be a part of the Crossroads Columbus launch.

296
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And so I'm going to jump in today to our message on joy.

297
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As I do that, I want to pray specifically,
I'm going to pray for the Columbus launch.

298
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Let's do that together.

299
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God, thank You so much for the team of people in Columbus

300
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who have a heart for their neighbors and their friends

301
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and who are willing to create space

302
00:24:46.680 --> 00:24:49.490
and create a space where they can connect and hear more about You.

303
00:24:49.490 --> 00:24:52.950
So, God, I want to pray your blessings on the entire launch team,

304
00:24:52.950 --> 00:24:54.960
all of the people who are part of Crossroads Columbus.

305
00:24:55.290 --> 00:24:57.360
And God, I want to pray in advance for the people

306
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that You're going to reach through that campus,

307
00:24:59.610 --> 00:25:02.460
that they would know that there is a God that pursues them

308
00:25:02.460 --> 00:25:04.020
and we just get to be on that journey with them.

309
00:25:04.050 --> 00:25:09.270
So, God, I pray today as we lean into the idea of joy at Christmas,

310
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and specifically at Advent, that You would just speak.

311
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That You would connect with the hearts of all of
us in all the different places that we are.

312
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In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.

313
00:25:19.650 --> 00:25:24.270
So Advent has been really cool for my family and I.

314
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We've been celebrating it at home, using some cards

315
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that kind of everyday give us something to reflect on.

316
00:25:29.610 --> 00:25:31.680
And Advent is about anticipation, right?

317
00:25:31.920 --> 00:25:33.690
I mean, my kids are excited because every day

318
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that we turn a card over means we're a day closer to Christmas.

319
00:25:36.750 --> 00:25:39.490
I mean, they're excited about that and they're looking forward to that.

320
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Advent is meant to do that.

321
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That's part of why we light a different candle every week,

322
00:25:43.920 --> 00:25:45.540
because as these candles get brighter,

323
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we're reminded of the gifts that Jesus offers us through His coming to Earth.

324
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Gifts like hope and peace.

325
00:25:53.700 --> 00:25:56.370
And this week, we're talking about the gift of joy.

326
00:25:57.180 --> 00:25:58.890
And I don't know if you noticed or not,

327
00:25:58.890 --> 00:26:01.170
but one of these four is not like the other.

328
00:26:01.200 --> 00:26:01.470
Right?

329
00:26:01.500 --> 00:26:03.210
I mean, you got three purple candles.

330
00:26:03.510 --> 00:26:06.570
And today we have the defiantly pink candle.

331
00:26:07.320 --> 00:26:09.150
We're going to talk about why that's the case.

332
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There is something for all of us to learn

333
00:26:11.850 --> 00:26:15.390
from this defiantly pink candle on Advent this week.

334
00:26:15.390 --> 00:26:19.110
And I don't usually title messages, but I have a title for you today.

335
00:26:19.110 --> 00:26:22.560
And it is this: I want to talk about defiant joy.

336
00:26:23.540 --> 00:26:25.380
Defiant Joy.

337
00:26:26.060 --> 00:26:28.460
I was thinking about this when I thought about the fact

338
00:26:28.460 --> 00:26:32.870
that my kids are going to defy me on December 24th.

339
00:26:33.980 --> 00:26:36.590
At Christmas Eve, when I say to them,

340
00:26:36.590 --> 00:26:39.680
what my wife and I say to them every night, "Hey, guys, time to go to bed."

341
00:26:39.680 --> 00:26:41.870
My kids are going to defy me on Christmas Eve.

342
00:26:41.900 --> 00:26:42.870
Right?

343
00:26:42.870 --> 00:26:46.010
Because they got to be so excited, so anxious about Christmas the next day.

344
00:26:46.050 --> 00:26:48.080
So we're going to have to tell them a couple of times,

345
00:26:48.080 --> 00:26:48.980
"All right, you've gotta go to bed?"

346
00:26:48.980 --> 00:26:50.180
You know, because, you know, it works. Right?

347
00:26:50.290 --> 00:26:55.490
Basically, like they go to bed and then this magical thing happens

348
00:26:55.490 --> 00:26:58.870
where this man comes into our house and he delivers gifts to our kid.

349
00:26:58.890 --> 00:27:00.080
That's actually not what happens, right?

350
00:27:00.080 --> 00:27:00.320
You know.

351
00:27:00.620 --> 00:27:01.710
But we need them to go to sleep first.

352
00:27:01.730 --> 00:27:04.550
So anyway, we need them to go to sleep so we can kind of do the Christmas thing.

353
00:27:04.760 --> 00:27:08.750
But my kids are going to defy us, they always do, because they are so excited.

354
00:27:08.840 --> 00:27:12.710
And I actually think there's something I can
learn from my kids about defiant joy.

355
00:27:13.580 --> 00:27:16.310
Something that is embedded in the Christmas story.

356
00:27:16.970 --> 00:27:19.490
Has it ever struck you that the Christmas story takes place at night?

357
00:27:20.960 --> 00:27:23.660
I mean, think about it, if you read in Luke about the shepherds.

358
00:27:23.660 --> 00:27:25.250
When do the angels come to the shepherds?

359
00:27:25.250 --> 00:27:28.130
They were keeping watch over their flock by night.

360
00:27:28.520 --> 00:27:28.790
Right?

361
00:27:29.030 --> 00:27:31.730
The wise men, the magi see a star.

362
00:27:31.760 --> 00:27:34.280
They said there's going to be a star that would guide you in the sky.

363
00:27:34.520 --> 00:27:38.300
A star that clearly they would see more clearly at night.

364
00:27:38.500 --> 00:27:41.360
The Christmas story happens at night.

365
00:27:41.900 --> 00:27:45.080
And I think that there's a spiritual reason why that's the case.

366
00:27:46.060 --> 00:27:47.440
I mean, let me ask you this way.

367
00:27:47.470 --> 00:27:53.200
If daylight means all is right in the world and nighttime

368
00:27:53.200 --> 00:27:57.640
represents the turmoil, the tension, some of
the challenge of living in the world,

369
00:27:57.640 --> 00:28:00.850
what time of day would you say it is in human history right now?

370
00:28:02.380 --> 00:28:03.500
I mean, I think it's night.

371
00:28:04.490 --> 00:28:06.560
I think all you have to do is flip open your newsfeed

372
00:28:06.560 --> 00:28:09.200
and you will see evidence that in some ways

373
00:28:09.200 --> 00:28:12.050
there is a night-ness to the world that we live in.

374
00:28:12.050 --> 00:28:14.660
That the world itself is at night.

375
00:28:14.780 --> 00:28:17.600
I think that's because the Bible makes it very clear

376
00:28:17.600 --> 00:28:19.750
this world has a level of darkness in it

377
00:28:19.750 --> 00:28:22.850
and it appears to be trending more toward that level of darkness.

378
00:28:23.060 --> 00:28:26.630
And so in some ways, all joy is defiant joy.

379
00:28:28.190 --> 00:28:31.160
But this is more personal to me this year than really it's ever been.

380
00:28:31.190 --> 00:28:35.510
I would say this is a very different Christmas because 2019 for me

381
00:28:35.510 --> 00:28:38.060
has been a year with a lot of dark nights.

382
00:28:38.900 --> 00:28:42.290
The dark night of losing a friend and a mentor,

383
00:28:42.290 --> 00:28:44.900
someone who I loved dearly, Kathy Beechum,

384
00:28:44.900 --> 00:28:46.760
who many of us were influenced by around here.

385
00:28:46.760 --> 00:28:50.240
It's been a it's been a year of night, the night of grieving.

386
00:28:51.400 --> 00:28:54.310
And then just a few months ago in October, I lost my father.

387
00:28:55.180 --> 00:28:59.920
And so 2019 for me has been a year of a lot of dark nights.

388
00:29:00.610 --> 00:29:04.210
But not only in the areas of grief, but also just in my personal life.

389
00:29:04.240 --> 00:29:05.320
There are some things that I thought

390
00:29:05.320 --> 00:29:07.210
I was going to take more ground on this year and I have not.

391
00:29:07.210 --> 00:29:10.690
One of them is just eating and my ongoing relationship with food and my weight.

392
00:29:10.840 --> 00:29:12.910
Like I had some goals this year of where I wanted to be.

393
00:29:13.150 --> 00:29:17.320
And I'm going to in 2019, actually heavier than I came into the year.

394
00:29:17.320 --> 00:29:19.290
And I'm like, man, I'm disillusioned by that.

395
00:29:19.390 --> 00:29:22.110
Then I wrote an article about that called The Gift of Disillusionment

396
00:29:22.110 --> 00:29:24.640
and what I'm learning through the disillusionment of that this year.

397
00:29:25.270 --> 00:29:30.250
There's been a lot of night for me and it all kind of culminated for me

398
00:29:30.250 --> 00:29:35.080
or I would say I had a symbolic experience of what 2019 has been like for me.

399
00:29:35.890 --> 00:29:38.440
I still do run and I'm glad that I'm able to run.

400
00:29:38.440 --> 00:29:40.900
And I ran a half marathon a couple of weeks ago

401
00:29:40.900 --> 00:29:42.490
and it was the slowest one I've ever done.

402
00:29:43.650 --> 00:29:46.380
I was the third from the last person to get off the course.

403
00:29:47.500 --> 00:29:49.980
And man, I just was -- it was cold, it was raining.

404
00:29:50.290 --> 00:29:53.070
And I just said in a lot of ways this feels like 2019.

405
00:29:53.100 --> 00:29:55.970
It feels like a year where there's been a lot of night.

406
00:29:56.330 --> 00:29:57.580
Maybe -- Maybe I'm not the only one.

407
00:29:57.600 --> 00:29:59.160
Maybe there are other people who can relate to that.

408
00:29:59.220 --> 00:30:01.600
Maybe it hasn't been loss, but maybe it's been,

409
00:30:01.600 --> 00:30:04.770
man, the night of a rejection letter from a college you really wanted to go to.

410
00:30:04.770 --> 00:30:08.000
Or maybe it's been the night of a challenge that you can't seem to overcome.

411
00:30:08.010 --> 00:30:11.070
Maybe it has been the night of a diagnosis that you didn't expect.

412
00:30:11.100 --> 00:30:13.020
Maybe it's been the night of a relationship

413
00:30:13.020 --> 00:30:15.750
that you thought was going to move to the next step

414
00:30:15.750 --> 00:30:19.440
and you're finding that that relationship is no longer a part of your life.

415
00:30:19.710 --> 00:30:24.240
There is darkness in the world, and oftentimes there's darkness in our life.

416
00:30:25.390 --> 00:30:28.550
But I believe there's something in this story of Christmas.

417
00:30:28.580 --> 00:30:31.840
There's something about the Advent of Joy

418
00:30:31.840 --> 00:30:36.550
that can even penetrate the night of the world and the night of our own lives.

419
00:30:37.360 --> 00:30:41.710
When Christmas is prophesied 500 or so years before Jesus came,

420
00:30:41.710 --> 00:30:43.570
these are the words that are used by the prophet Isaiah.

421
00:30:43.570 --> 00:30:44.980
Isaiah 9:2 says:

422
00:30:49.410 --> 00:30:53.490
There is this hopefulness that there is coming a day when joy,

423
00:30:53.490 --> 00:30:55.570
when light is going to break through.

424
00:30:55.590 --> 00:30:58.050
So one of the verses that I've been leaning into

425
00:30:58.050 --> 00:31:01.560
and praying regularly in my prayers is Psalm 16:11, which says:

426
00:31:04.800 --> 00:31:07.290
I've been praying and asking, God, God, give me fullness.

427
00:31:08.100 --> 00:31:10.800
Give me fullness in the places where I feel empty.

428
00:31:10.800 --> 00:31:14.040
Give me give me fullness in the places where I'm feeling lost right now.

429
00:31:14.220 --> 00:31:16.440
Because there's a difference between joy and happiness.

430
00:31:16.740 --> 00:31:20.370
I'll never feel happy until I get to fullness, right?

431
00:31:20.370 --> 00:31:22.530
Because happiness is based on happenings.

432
00:31:22.740 --> 00:31:25.650
And if you're happenings aren't good, you're not going to feel happy.

433
00:31:25.770 --> 00:31:31.800
But I believe that what God offers us is
a full list of joy, no matter what's happening.

434
00:31:32.550 --> 00:31:35.410
One of the people I've been leaning into and learning from in this season

435
00:31:35.410 --> 00:31:38.410
where I'm leaning into this kind of defiant joy,

436
00:31:38.410 --> 00:31:42.330
is a professor from Duke Divinity School who says this about joy:

437
00:31:48.640 --> 00:31:51.970
Joy is like this defiant pink candle.

438
00:31:52.010 --> 00:31:56.380
Joy is actually not about a happy mood, but here's the big idea today.

439
00:31:56.380 --> 00:32:03.100
Joy is the defiant choice to trust God's presence and His light,

440
00:32:03.100 --> 00:32:06.280
despite the night that might be going on in our lives.

441
00:32:07.000 --> 00:32:10.330
So when you came in, you probably got one of these green cards.

442
00:32:10.330 --> 00:32:11.780
I'm going to ask you to go and take that out.

443
00:32:12.220 --> 00:32:13.990
And if you're tuning in online,

444
00:32:13.990 --> 00:32:18.070
go ahead and grab your iPhone or your phone and pull up a note.

445
00:32:18.340 --> 00:32:19.750
If you have a piece of paper, take that.

446
00:32:19.780 --> 00:32:20.590
Grab a pen.

447
00:32:20.980 --> 00:32:21.880
We're going to do something.

448
00:32:21.880 --> 00:32:24.580
We're going to do a joy exercise right now.

449
00:32:24.610 --> 00:32:25.690
Here's how this is going to work.

450
00:32:26.800 --> 00:32:28.570
On the back of the card, yours is blank.

451
00:32:28.690 --> 00:32:31.120
Mine is not blank and yours won't be blank in a minute.

452
00:32:31.540 --> 00:32:33.520
Because here's what I'd like for you to do with this card.

453
00:32:34.010 --> 00:32:36.910
I'm gonna give you 60 seconds and I want you to think about

454
00:32:36.910 --> 00:32:38.620
all the things in your life that bring you joy.

455
00:32:38.830 --> 00:32:41.180
And I want you to fill this card up.

456
00:32:41.200 --> 00:32:43.870
I want you to just write down all the things that come to mind.

457
00:32:43.880 --> 00:32:46.090
It can be things that have brought you joy from years ago.

458
00:32:46.240 --> 00:32:48.040
It could be people, it could be places, experiences.

459
00:32:48.040 --> 00:32:50.560
Whatever you put on here is all good.

460
00:32:51.100 --> 00:32:55.270
60 seconds to fill this card with things that bring you joy.

461
00:32:55.480 --> 00:32:56.530
Ready? Go.

462
00:34:01.430 --> 00:34:02.330
All right. All right.

463
00:34:02.360 --> 00:34:04.190
How many people were able to fill that card up,

464
00:34:04.190 --> 00:34:06.770
fill it up with a bunch of things that bring you joy?

465
00:34:06.980 --> 00:34:10.830
Keep that card nearby, we're gonna use it a little bit later.

466
00:34:12.110 --> 00:34:15.260
Do you ever -- You know, we were playing our Christmas music,

467
00:34:15.260 --> 00:34:16.100
Angels We Have Heard in between that.

468
00:34:16.160 --> 00:34:19.730
You ever noticed Christmas is the only
holiday that comes with it's own soundtrack?

469
00:34:21.310 --> 00:34:22.680
And that's not true for any other holiday.

470
00:34:22.700 --> 00:34:22.940
Right?

471
00:34:23.060 --> 00:34:26.870
In fact, there are so many songs connected to the joy of Christmas

472
00:34:26.870 --> 00:34:30.320
that whole radio stations turn their entire platform over

473
00:34:30.320 --> 00:34:33.230
and they just play Christmas music all through the season.

474
00:34:33.410 --> 00:34:34.730
Why is that the case?

475
00:34:34.760 --> 00:34:38.090
I think it's because that was true for the very first Christmas.

476
00:34:38.510 --> 00:34:41.270
Luke is one of the writers in the Bible who writes about

477
00:34:41.270 --> 00:34:42.890
the Christmas story, The Coming of Jesus.

478
00:34:43.130 --> 00:34:46.730
And in the first two chapters of Luke, there are four songs.

479
00:34:47.390 --> 00:34:53.240
Including two that are still sung today in churches all around the world,

480
00:34:53.240 --> 00:34:55.910
sometimes every week, and certainly during Advent.

481
00:34:55.910 --> 00:34:58.370
And we're gonna look at one of those songs today.

482
00:34:58.850 --> 00:35:02.600
Because we can go to school on how to have joy

483
00:35:02.600 --> 00:35:05.220
despite the darkness of our life by leaning into this song.

484
00:35:05.250 --> 00:35:09.800
This song was actually attributed to, I think, the baddest female in the Bible.

485
00:35:09.800 --> 00:35:10.820
She's a rock star.

486
00:35:10.970 --> 00:35:12.530
She's a hidden legend story.

487
00:35:12.980 --> 00:35:16.310
She's kind of the key person in the Christmas story besides Jesus himself.

488
00:35:16.490 --> 00:35:19.370
Her name is Mary of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus.

489
00:35:20.180 --> 00:35:26.100
And Mary has a song in the middle of
the Christmas story that is about her joyfulness.

490
00:35:26.130 --> 00:35:28.610
But let me give you some context on who she was.

491
00:35:28.640 --> 00:35:31.940
I mean, we can we can gloss over this because all the pictures we see

492
00:35:31.940 --> 00:35:35.540
of Mary show her very tranquil and very peaceful and all of that.

493
00:35:35.750 --> 00:35:36.560
And I think she was.

494
00:35:36.710 --> 00:35:41.180
But we need to understand what Mary found herself a part of in world history.

495
00:35:41.180 --> 00:35:44.810
First of all, personally, Mary would have been a teenager.

496
00:35:45.070 --> 00:35:51.380
And she was a teenager who found herself
pregnant and unmarried in the first century.

497
00:35:51.950 --> 00:35:55.220
And particularly in Israel in the first century,

498
00:35:55.220 --> 00:35:57.380
an offense that could have gotten her killed.

499
00:35:57.890 --> 00:36:01.790
In fact, we see in the Christmas story that she was almost stoned to death

500
00:36:01.790 --> 00:36:06.290
because her fiance, she was engaged at the
time, knew he didn't get her pregnant.

501
00:36:06.380 --> 00:36:08.960
And Mary's response was, "No, God got me pregnant."

502
00:36:09.950 --> 00:36:14.360
Ok. So that could have gone a bunch of different ways for her.

503
00:36:14.690 --> 00:36:17.510
And so Mary was also very, very poor.

504
00:36:17.660 --> 00:36:19.880
She would have grown up in a society where

505
00:36:19.880 --> 00:36:22.940
she was probably making her living with her family, agrarian culture.

506
00:36:23.090 --> 00:36:23.830
They were poor.

507
00:36:23.880 --> 00:36:25.460
But not only that, she was oppressed.

508
00:36:25.550 --> 00:36:28.160
She grew up in a time in history where the nation of Israel

509
00:36:28.160 --> 00:36:31.670
was under the most strong, powerful oppression of the Roman Empire.

510
00:36:31.850 --> 00:36:34.610
You couldn't find a person more vulnerable.

511
00:36:34.760 --> 00:36:39.110
You couldn't find a person who could have more night in her life than Mary.

512
00:36:39.230 --> 00:36:43.370
And yet God chooses Mary to give birth to a son.

513
00:36:43.790 --> 00:36:47.300
Sends an angel to Mary telling her about this news.

514
00:36:47.480 --> 00:36:49.970
And then Mary goes to her cousin, Elizabeth.

515
00:36:50.180 --> 00:36:52.610
And in the midst of telling her cousin Elizabeth

516
00:36:52.610 --> 00:36:56.300
what God has done for her, we find Mary's song.

517
00:36:56.300 --> 00:36:59.420
And I want you to hear it, but I don't want you to hear it in my voice.

518
00:36:59.600 --> 00:37:01.700
I want you to hear it in a voice that

519
00:37:01.700 --> 00:37:05.030
would have been more akin to the voice and the energy of Mary.

520
00:37:05.060 --> 00:38:00.210
So this is Mary song from Luke Chapter 1:

521
00:38:02.030 --> 00:38:03.570
- Do you hear that joyfulness?

522
00:38:04.320 --> 00:38:08.910
Breaking through the darkness of her life, Mary has a defiant joy.

523
00:38:08.940 --> 00:38:12.220
She says, My soul magnifies the Lord.

524
00:38:12.240 --> 00:38:15.300
If you grew up in the Catholic Church, you've heard this as the Magnificat,

525
00:38:15.300 --> 00:38:19.350
because in Latin, that's the statement for that first thing she says,

526
00:38:19.350 --> 00:38:21.520
Magnificat, my soul magnifies the law.

527
00:38:21.600 --> 00:38:26.040
She says, my spirit rejoices in God, my savior.

528
00:38:26.730 --> 00:38:27.700
And here's the crazy thing.

529
00:38:27.720 --> 00:38:31.050
Mary's life didn't get any easier after this announcement.

530
00:38:31.380 --> 00:38:34.200
She still had a husband who would have been able to leave her.

531
00:38:34.620 --> 00:38:37.760
She still had people looking at her side eye and saying,

532
00:38:37.760 --> 00:38:38.850
"You are pregnant. How?"

533
00:38:38.850 --> 00:38:40.650
I mean, she was still in the middle of it.

534
00:38:40.830 --> 00:38:43.410
There's more night to come in her story.

535
00:38:43.540 --> 00:38:46.950
There's the night to come when they have to make this long commute

536
00:38:46.950 --> 00:38:49.560
all the way to the city of Bethlehem, because Caesar decided

537
00:38:49.560 --> 00:38:53.040
to tax the whole world that he owned and controlled at that time.

538
00:38:53.260 --> 00:38:55.800
There's the night that would come when Herod,

539
00:38:55.800 --> 00:38:57.960
another ruler in that time said,

540
00:38:57.960 --> 00:39:00.000
"Hey, there's a king that's been born, a child king?"

541
00:39:00.180 --> 00:39:03.750
And decided to slaughter every boy two years and under,

542
00:39:03.750 --> 00:39:06.330
which caused Mary and Joseph to have to flee to Egypt.

543
00:39:06.480 --> 00:39:08.660
There was a lot of night still in her life,

544
00:39:08.660 --> 00:39:12.030
but yet in the midst of that, Mary has a defiant joy.

545
00:39:12.630 --> 00:39:14.620
And we can learn from her why?

546
00:39:15.300 --> 00:39:19.090
So one of the things we need to see is that the joy that Christmas brings

547
00:39:19.090 --> 00:39:22.620
is the defiant joy that defies the darkness of our past.

548
00:39:23.340 --> 00:39:26.280
It defies the darkness of our past.

549
00:39:26.970 --> 00:39:29.130
Mary says in verse 46:

550
00:39:38.160 --> 00:39:40.800
That word, rejoice, means to leap for joy.

551
00:39:41.430 --> 00:39:48.900
And Mary says, "I'm leaping for joy, because God chose to engage with me

552
00:39:48.900 --> 00:39:51.810
to bring His plan of redemption into the world."

553
00:39:52.560 --> 00:39:59.080
That phrase humble estate in some places in
the Bible is translated vile or sinful.

554
00:39:59.700 --> 00:40:02.490
Mary was saying what we all should say,

555
00:40:02.490 --> 00:40:09.560
"Why would God want to have anything to do with a vile, sinful person like me?"

556
00:40:09.800 --> 00:40:13.610
The fact that he does made Mary rejoice and it should make us rejoice.

557
00:40:13.640 --> 00:40:16.010
Here's the deal, Mary knew her past.

558
00:40:17.100 --> 00:40:18.000
What's in your past?

559
00:40:19.280 --> 00:40:21.200
I sound like that commercial: What's in your wallet?

560
00:40:21.200 --> 00:40:21.860
Right?

561
00:40:22.780 --> 00:40:25.660
I don't know your past, but I know mine,

562
00:40:25.660 --> 00:40:28.690
and I can tell you there are vile and sinful things in my past.

563
00:40:29.200 --> 00:40:34.360
Lying, living a double life, breaking laws, breaking commitments.

564
00:40:34.540 --> 00:40:37.960
There are all kinds of things that are vile in my past.

565
00:40:38.110 --> 00:40:41.290
But why can I have a defiant joy at Christmas?

566
00:40:41.440 --> 00:40:46.630
Because Jesus has come, God did something with
my past that you would not expect.

567
00:40:46.810 --> 00:40:51.610
He defied what my past deserved, and instead of
giving me what I deserved, He gave me grace.

568
00:40:52.540 --> 00:40:59.320
He gave you grace, see because I don't know your past specifically,

569
00:40:59.320 --> 00:41:01.910
but I do know generally what is true for all of humanity.

570
00:41:01.930 --> 00:41:03.450
We see it in Ephesians Chapter 2.

571
00:41:03.670 --> 00:41:03.970
It says:

572
00:41:07.480 --> 00:41:11.110
The Bible says, apart from God getting involved in our lives,

573
00:41:11.110 --> 00:41:12.610
we are spiritually dead.

574
00:41:13.580 --> 00:41:15.770
I was thinking about this. I know this is true.

575
00:41:16.220 --> 00:41:17.150
And here's how I know it's true.

576
00:41:17.170 --> 00:41:19.340
You ever think about the things that you know are wrong

577
00:41:19.340 --> 00:41:21.020
that you don't even have to try hard to do?

578
00:41:22.090 --> 00:41:23.590
They just naturally come up in you.

579
00:41:24.160 --> 00:41:24.880
I'll give you one.

580
00:41:25.330 --> 00:41:27.400
Anybody ever been cut off in traffic

581
00:41:27.400 --> 00:41:29.770
and you've had to struggle to do a thumbs up?

582
00:41:31.390 --> 00:41:31.960
No, no, no, no.

583
00:41:32.110 --> 00:41:36.970
You have to struggle to not let another finger come up out of who you are.

584
00:41:37.000 --> 00:41:38.370
You have to try, right?

585
00:41:38.500 --> 00:41:39.900
That just naturally comes. You know why?

586
00:41:40.090 --> 00:41:42.910
Because there is a default nature that we all have,

587
00:41:42.910 --> 00:41:44.050
and it is a sinful nature.

588
00:41:44.230 --> 00:41:46.170
It is a vile nature.

589
00:41:47.040 --> 00:41:50.480
But thankfully, Ephesians 2:5 says:

590
00:41:59.330 --> 00:42:00.350
Spiritually alive.

591
00:42:05.090 --> 00:42:07.300
What does God do with our humble estate?

592
00:42:07.400 --> 00:42:09.740
What does God do with our vile past?

593
00:42:09.890 --> 00:42:11.570
You know what God does with your past?

594
00:42:11.750 --> 00:42:12.680
He gives you grace.

595
00:42:13.920 --> 00:42:15.290
He offers you forgiveness.

596
00:42:15.900 --> 00:42:18.540
So I don't know your pass, but I know that God does.

597
00:42:18.750 --> 00:42:20.550
And that God offers you grace.

598
00:42:20.940 --> 00:42:24.690
That's why when the angels came and shared this good news with the shepherds,

599
00:42:24.690 --> 00:42:28.860
they said, "This is good news of great joy for all people.".

600
00:42:28.870 --> 00:42:31.440
Why? Because, as one theologian put it:

601
00:42:38.820 --> 00:42:41.350
God offers you a grace that defies your past.

602
00:42:41.370 --> 00:42:42.600
That's why Jesus was born.

603
00:42:43.560 --> 00:42:47.040
And because of that, you can have a defiant joy.

604
00:42:47.880 --> 00:42:51.250
But not only is this joy, a joy that defies our past.

605
00:42:51.270 --> 00:42:54.120
It's a joy that defies the darkness of our present pain.

606
00:42:55.610 --> 00:42:59.330
Man, I know in a room this size and people who are gaging it,

607
00:42:59.330 --> 00:43:01.280
there is present pain in this place.

608
00:43:02.240 --> 00:43:05.010
That for all of us, Christmas is isn't going to be

609
00:43:05.010 --> 00:43:08.550
this exciting, fun, wonderful, all of my thoughts are light.

610
00:43:08.610 --> 00:43:12.960
For some of us, man, there are hard
things that we are dealing with this Christmas.

611
00:43:13.650 --> 00:43:17.220
And I love that the Bible recognizes the tension that we live in in this life.

612
00:43:17.220 --> 00:43:20.130
That, yes, we can have joy as we lean into the presence of God.

613
00:43:20.370 --> 00:43:25.290
And life can be hard, we can find ourselves in darkness,

614
00:43:25.290 --> 00:43:28.320
even in the midst of knowing that God is with us.

615
00:43:28.620 --> 00:43:32.610
So we find verses in the Bible, like 2 Corinthians 6:10 that say:

616
00:43:40.710 --> 00:43:42.390
Do you read the tension in that?

617
00:43:43.200 --> 00:43:46.680
This understanding that, man, you can almost be in both places at the same time.

618
00:43:47.640 --> 00:43:50.910
But one of them, the joy, can be the thing

619
00:43:50.910 --> 00:43:53.610
that actually overwhelms and takes over your life.

620
00:43:53.610 --> 00:43:55.100
Philippians 4:4-5:

621
00:44:05.460 --> 00:44:08.910
Let me tell you, it is unreasonable to be joyful

622
00:44:08.910 --> 00:44:10.650
in the midst of the darkness of this world.

623
00:44:10.680 --> 00:44:13.980
It is unreasonable to be joyful in the midst of the darkness

624
00:44:13.980 --> 00:44:17.760
you might be experiencing in your life, unless the Lord is at hand.

625
00:44:19.210 --> 00:44:21.280
Unless hope has come.

626
00:44:21.280 --> 00:44:22.060
Unless peace has come.

627
00:44:22.240 --> 00:44:24.580
Unless forgiveness has come and, friends, hope has come.

628
00:44:25.490 --> 00:44:26.500
Peace has come.

629
00:44:27.070 --> 00:44:28.590
And forgiveness has come.

630
00:44:28.600 --> 00:44:30.270
Life has come.

631
00:44:31.850 --> 00:44:37.340
You know, for me, this -- when I knew I was
going to be talking about Joy, I knew this months ago.

632
00:44:37.340 --> 00:44:38.420
And I was like, "Oh, man, that's great.

633
00:44:38.540 --> 00:44:39.860
I love talking about joy at Christmas.

634
00:44:39.860 --> 00:44:41.330
Man, who's not happy at Christmas time?"

635
00:44:42.980 --> 00:44:49.050
I know differently now being only months from losing a parent.

636
00:44:49.110 --> 00:44:50.370
I know differently now.

637
00:44:51.540 --> 00:44:52.980
Grief is a crazy thing, right?

638
00:44:54.170 --> 00:44:55.730
It comes up when you don't expect it.

639
00:44:56.630 --> 00:44:58.420
It shows up in ways that you can't control.

640
00:44:58.430 --> 00:45:00.850
I mean, it's just this uneven -- You're just --

641
00:45:01.100 --> 00:45:03.530
It's just a thing. You're just walk in through it.

642
00:45:03.560 --> 00:45:04.640
I'm just walking through it.

643
00:45:05.710 --> 00:45:09.930
So what does it look like for me to
be defiantly joyful in the midst of real grief?

644
00:45:10.000 --> 00:45:11.610
Because it doesn't mean that I don't grieve.

645
00:45:12.420 --> 00:45:14.820
But what doe joy look like in the midst of that?

646
00:45:15.900 --> 00:45:20.260
Well, one of the things that I've done on my green card is

647
00:45:20.260 --> 00:45:23.700
I have written things that make me joyful because they're gifts from my dad.

648
00:45:25.480 --> 00:45:28.380
And I know that I'm going to have and have already had

649
00:45:28.380 --> 00:45:31.080
moments this Christmas where, man, I'm not laughing, I'm not smiling.

650
00:45:31.110 --> 00:45:33.870
I'm in the middle of whatever I'm feeling and missing him.

651
00:45:34.080 --> 00:45:38.790
But here's what I do know, it is a gift to miss him because I had him.

652
00:45:40.050 --> 00:45:43.930
And I know there are many people who
wish they had a relationship with their father.

653
00:45:44.560 --> 00:45:46.390
I'm grateful for the one that I had.

654
00:45:46.690 --> 00:45:48.640
I'm grateful for all the years that I had it.

655
00:45:49.590 --> 00:45:52.500
And I don't want to lose that in the midst of the real pain.

656
00:45:53.690 --> 00:45:56.240
So when that grief comes, I'm feeling it.

657
00:45:56.330 --> 00:45:57.710
I'm allowing myself to feel it.

658
00:45:58.520 --> 00:46:02.540
And I'm also taking this card out and reminding myself about gifts from my dad,

659
00:46:02.540 --> 00:46:06.500
like the fact that he showed me how God can
change a life as I watch God change his life.

660
00:46:07.190 --> 00:46:10.400
My dad showed me what it looks like to keep a covenant,

661
00:46:10.400 --> 00:46:12.410
because he was married to my mom for 49 years.

662
00:46:13.280 --> 00:46:15.170
My dad showed me a great work ethic.

663
00:46:16.260 --> 00:46:17.520
My dad took pride in me.

664
00:46:18.420 --> 00:46:19.860
My dad protected me.

665
00:46:20.490 --> 00:46:22.080
He cared enough to correct me.

666
00:46:23.030 --> 00:46:25.760
One of the things I've been thinking about with laughing is

667
00:46:25.760 --> 00:46:29.570
that my dad always showed up in my life, usually early.

668
00:46:30.220 --> 00:46:32.420
And let me tell you, like I don't know if you were this way,

669
00:46:32.420 --> 00:46:36.110
but when you're a kid and you go to a sleepover or you go to a party,

670
00:46:36.110 --> 00:46:38.070
you don't want to be the first one picked up.

671
00:46:38.090 --> 00:46:38.630
Am I right?

672
00:46:39.440 --> 00:46:40.940
You don't want to be the first one picked up.

673
00:46:40.940 --> 00:46:44.030
You want to be the last one picked up because
you get more time to play and hang out.

674
00:46:44.270 --> 00:46:47.390
I was always the first kid picked up from every party.

675
00:46:48.200 --> 00:46:52.610
Because I knew that if the time that my
dad was supposed to pick me up was 10:00,

676
00:46:52.610 --> 00:46:54.980
I knew for sure that if I peeked through the blinds

677
00:46:54.980 --> 00:46:58.760
or if I looked out the window an hour before the party was over,

678
00:46:58.760 --> 00:47:00.830
I was going to find my dad parked out front

679
00:47:00.830 --> 00:47:03.140
reading his Philadelphia Daily News, waiting for the party to end.

680
00:47:03.320 --> 00:47:04.640
My dad was never late.

681
00:47:04.760 --> 00:47:05.870
He always showed up.

682
00:47:06.020 --> 00:47:07.520
Man, you know how good that is, though?

683
00:47:08.480 --> 00:47:08.690
You know how good?

684
00:47:08.700 --> 00:47:10.130
It's not good when you're a middle schooler.

685
00:47:10.570 --> 00:47:12.000
Is not good when you're in elementary school.

686
00:47:12.050 --> 00:47:15.050
But man, when I needed him when I had kids, he always showed up.

687
00:47:15.890 --> 00:47:17.780
And I'm telling you, I'm recognizing like

688
00:47:17.780 --> 00:47:21.620
in the midst of the pain of missing him, I have a lot to be joyful around.

689
00:47:21.800 --> 00:47:24.860
I've got great memories of my dad showing up.

690
00:47:26.430 --> 00:47:31.370
So, friends, I want to tell you, I know, probably more than I've ever known

691
00:47:31.370 --> 00:47:36.000
what it's like to live in the tension of joy in the midst of darkness.

692
00:47:36.950 --> 00:47:41.930
But God offers us a joy that defies the pain that we experience right now.

693
00:47:42.870 --> 00:47:43.620
Because you know what?

694
00:47:44.170 --> 00:47:46.820
There's another Father and He always shows up.

695
00:47:48.240 --> 00:47:52.440
There's a living Father who will be a father to you and He will always show up.

696
00:47:53.790 --> 00:47:55.220
And like they said in the black church,

697
00:47:55.220 --> 00:47:58.030
He may not come when you want Him, but he's always right on time.

698
00:47:59.710 --> 00:48:01.040
So you can be encouraged by that.

699
00:48:01.640 --> 00:48:03.860
You can have joy in the midst of your present pain.

700
00:48:03.860 --> 00:48:09.260
But you can also have a joy that defies
the promise that there will always be darkness.

701
00:48:09.290 --> 00:48:11.690
One of the things I think we wrestle with in this world is

702
00:48:11.690 --> 00:48:13.730
we can think it's always going to be this way.

703
00:48:13.940 --> 00:48:15.710
It seems like it's always getting worse.

704
00:48:15.860 --> 00:48:17.860
And I think that's true to a certain degree.

705
00:48:17.930 --> 00:48:21.740
But thankfully, we're not looking at just what happens in this life.

706
00:48:21.920 --> 00:48:24.920
There is a hope that we have in Jesus beyond this life.

707
00:48:25.790 --> 00:48:31.340
And Mary in this song seems to understand that to some degree.

708
00:48:31.370 --> 00:48:33.860
Let me read this scripture to you from her song.

709
00:48:33.890 --> 00:48:37.370
She says in Luke 1:54-55:

710
00:48:47.940 --> 00:48:53.000
Forever. What Mary is doing in this verse is she is reaching back

711
00:48:53.000 --> 00:48:58.460
through the history of the nation of Israel
2000 years and saying, "God made a promise."

712
00:48:58.460 --> 00:49:00.780
Actually, she's reaching back even further than that,

713
00:49:00.780 --> 00:49:03.950
because in the very book of Genesis, right after Adam and Eve fall,

714
00:49:03.950 --> 00:49:08.310
God says, "I am going to bring someone who will crush the head of the serpent."

715
00:49:08.310 --> 00:49:10.310
And so she draws back and says,

716
00:49:10.310 --> 00:49:14.870
"This promise that God made to Abraham is being fulfilled in me."

717
00:49:14.900 --> 00:49:18.920
Literally in her through her womb as Jesus is being birthed.

718
00:49:19.070 --> 00:49:23.540
She says, "This promise is not just about what God promised in the past,

719
00:49:23.540 --> 00:49:26.810
but there is something to this promise that actually points to a future."

720
00:49:28.650 --> 00:49:31.050
That points to forever.

721
00:49:32.090 --> 00:49:37.250
Mary saw the present, but she also saw the future promise.

722
00:49:38.310 --> 00:49:42.960
And so did the baby that she gave birth to.

723
00:49:42.960 --> 00:49:45.330
Jesus would be born through Mary.

724
00:49:46.080 --> 00:49:47.970
And for 30 years he walked this earth.

725
00:49:48.660 --> 00:49:52.140
And during that 30 years he taught about a relationship to God

726
00:49:52.140 --> 00:49:54.420
that was unlike anything anyone had ever heard.

727
00:49:54.440 --> 00:49:59.790
People used to say, "We have never heard
anyone teach this way with such authority."

728
00:49:59.790 --> 00:50:00.630
Jesus healed people.

729
00:50:00.630 --> 00:50:02.970
There were people who could hear after He touched them.

730
00:50:03.090 --> 00:50:05.940
There were people who could see after He prayed for them.

731
00:50:06.090 --> 00:50:08.790
There were people who literally would just walk by Him

732
00:50:08.790 --> 00:50:10.020
and they would say, "Can you heal me?"

733
00:50:10.020 --> 00:50:12.840
And he would say, "You're done. It's done, go and you'll be healed."

734
00:50:12.840 --> 00:50:15.780
He walked with such authority, Jesus was present.

735
00:50:16.420 --> 00:50:18.600
And where He was present, there was joy.

736
00:50:19.290 --> 00:50:24.390
Where He was present 5000 people got fed on two fish and five loaves of bread.

737
00:50:24.540 --> 00:50:28.920
When He was present, there was the joy of people who were dead

738
00:50:28.920 --> 00:50:31.110
that actually were raised from the dead again.

739
00:50:31.230 --> 00:50:33.410
He brought joy wherever He went.

740
00:50:34.370 --> 00:50:39.710
Jesus was present, but he didn't just see the present.

741
00:50:39.710 --> 00:50:41.990
Jesus too saw a future promise.

742
00:50:42.450 --> 00:50:45.080
In Hebrews 12 it says this:

743
00:50:58.790 --> 00:51:01.660
After 30 years on this earth of healing,

744
00:51:01.660 --> 00:51:06.150
33 years of healing and teaching, there were people who didn't like Jesus.

745
00:51:06.720 --> 00:51:08.850
There were people who said, you know what

746
00:51:08.850 --> 00:51:09.960
He's saying he's God."

747
00:51:10.620 --> 00:51:12.670
And that, too, is a death offense.

748
00:51:13.650 --> 00:51:20.430
And those people eventually decided to crucify Him,
decided to bring Him in and crucify Him.

749
00:51:21.150 --> 00:51:25.530
And Jesus knew, He knew that He had come to this earth for this purpose.

750
00:51:25.710 --> 00:51:27.570
He knew He had come to this earth for pain.

751
00:51:27.720 --> 00:51:29.850
He knew He had come to this earth to eventually

752
00:51:29.850 --> 00:51:32.370
be stretched out on a Cross and be sacrificed.

753
00:51:32.430 --> 00:51:34.740
He knew that nails were going to go in His hands and His feet.

754
00:51:34.920 --> 00:51:36.360
He knew that He was going to bleed.

755
00:51:36.450 --> 00:51:38.460
He knew that a spear was going to pierce His side.

756
00:51:38.610 --> 00:51:40.980
He knew that a crown of thorns was going to go in his head.

757
00:51:41.160 --> 00:51:46.230
And in the midst of that, looking at that present pain, Jesus had joy.

758
00:51:46.260 --> 00:51:47.610
That's what it says in Hebrews.

759
00:51:47.760 --> 00:51:48.210
Why?

760
00:51:48.270 --> 00:51:52.380
Because He was able to look beyond the present pain to see a future promise.

761
00:51:53.400 --> 00:51:55.940
Because Jesus knew this story doesn't end on Good Friday.

762
00:51:57.000 --> 00:51:59.480
The story doesn't end with me getting put in a grave.

763
00:51:59.490 --> 00:52:04.200
This story ends three days later when I'm gonna walk out of that same grave.

764
00:52:05.380 --> 00:52:10.090
Jesus for the joy set before Him endured the Cross.

765
00:52:10.780 --> 00:52:13.080
And friends, I want you to know there is an Easter egg.

766
00:52:13.090 --> 00:52:15.100
There is literally an Easter egg, if you know what that is.

767
00:52:15.130 --> 00:52:17.740
An Easter egg is something that's like hidden in another meaning.

768
00:52:17.860 --> 00:52:20.440
And if you discover it, it's a source of joy.

769
00:52:20.470 --> 00:52:23.890
There is a literal Easter egg in the Advent story.

770
00:52:23.920 --> 00:52:24.880
And you know what it is?

771
00:52:26.080 --> 00:52:26.990
It's this pink candle.

772
00:52:28.650 --> 00:52:30.410
You ever ask yourself, "Why is this candle pink?

773
00:52:31.050 --> 00:52:32.720
Why is there this one pink candle?"

774
00:52:32.720 --> 00:52:34.160
Let me tell you why this candle is pink.

775
00:52:34.910 --> 00:52:38.600
This candle is pink because there is another series

776
00:52:38.600 --> 00:52:40.430
in the life of the church every year,

777
00:52:40.430 --> 00:52:43.580
a rhythm that is practiced every year, just like Advent,

778
00:52:43.580 --> 00:52:45.950
where for six weeks, in this in this case, 40 days.

779
00:52:46.190 --> 00:52:47.720
There is the sense of repentance.

780
00:52:47.750 --> 00:52:51.170
There is a sense in some ways of bringing ourselves to the night of our life.

781
00:52:51.230 --> 00:52:52.010
It's called Lent.

782
00:52:53.190 --> 00:52:54.390
You know, when you give up chocolate.

783
00:52:55.360 --> 00:52:58.590
You give up sweets or give up meat, eat fish on Fridays?

784
00:52:58.590 --> 00:52:59.860
Right, that thing, Lent, right?

785
00:53:00.010 --> 00:53:03.340
And Lent is a series of repentance where we reflect on our lives

786
00:53:03.340 --> 00:53:06.640
and reflect on the need for someone to die in our place

787
00:53:06.640 --> 00:53:08.770
because we reflect on the sinfulness, the vileness,

788
00:53:08.770 --> 00:53:11.890
the humble state that we have as human beings.

789
00:53:13.400 --> 00:53:15.380
But on the third week of Lent,

790
00:53:15.380 --> 00:53:18.650
we take a break from all that fasting and we have a feast.

791
00:53:19.560 --> 00:53:22.320
This is the way the church has practiced this for thousands of years.

792
00:53:22.320 --> 00:53:25.710
There is a feast on the third week of Lent because there's a reminder

793
00:53:25.710 --> 00:53:28.940
that, yes, we're talking about repentance and, yes, we're talking about death.

794
00:53:29.020 --> 00:53:32.760
But friends, the story of Lent doesn't end on Good Friday.

795
00:53:32.880 --> 00:53:35.860
It ends on Resurrection Sunday, it ends on Easter.

796
00:53:35.970 --> 00:53:37.110
So let's not forget that.

797
00:53:37.290 --> 00:53:42.630
So if you go to a church that practices this on the
third week of Lent, you'll see the priest has pink vestments on.

798
00:53:43.290 --> 00:53:45.390
Part of what they wear is pink.

799
00:53:47.000 --> 00:53:48.780
Like a pink flamingo, maybe, I don't know.

800
00:53:48.800 --> 00:53:49.310
Maybe not.

801
00:53:49.340 --> 00:53:51.290
But there's something pink.

802
00:53:51.500 --> 00:53:56.360
And so the third week of Advent's candle is pink to remind us

803
00:53:56.360 --> 00:53:59.750
of the third week of Lent when we celebrate the resurrection.

804
00:53:59.750 --> 00:54:04.190
Why? Because on the third day, the night of our lives

805
00:54:04.190 --> 00:54:07.250
turned into an eternal day when Jesus walked out of that grave

806
00:54:07.250 --> 00:54:10.580
and offered a life that you and I could never get for ourselves.

807
00:54:11.610 --> 00:54:13.110
That's why that candle is pink.

808
00:54:13.860 --> 00:54:18.330
That's why we can have a defiant joy in the midst of this Christmas season.

809
00:54:18.360 --> 00:54:19.110
Because you know what?

810
00:54:19.260 --> 00:54:21.180
As it says in Psalms 4:

811
00:54:26.430 --> 00:54:27.840
I don't know what your night looks like.

812
00:54:27.960 --> 00:54:29.560
I don't know where you're experiencing night.

813
00:54:29.640 --> 00:54:33.480
But can I just be one person to tell you in the midst of your night,

814
00:54:33.480 --> 00:54:36.870
your weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

815
00:54:37.260 --> 00:54:40.170
Joy comes in the morning if you're in a situation

816
00:54:40.170 --> 00:54:41.550
that looks like night in a relationship.

817
00:54:41.550 --> 00:54:45.540
Joy comes in the morning if it feels like night right now with your health.

818
00:54:45.720 --> 00:54:49.260
Joy comes in the morning if it feels like night right now with your family.

819
00:54:49.410 --> 00:54:53.550
Joy comes in the morning if it feels like night right now with your finances.

820
00:54:53.550 --> 00:54:55.320
And I don't know who I'm talking to today,

821
00:54:55.320 --> 00:54:59.040
but you need to know there is joy in the mist of your night.

822
00:54:59.990 --> 00:55:04.650
And Advent is an opportunity to borrow against that joy

823
00:55:04.650 --> 00:55:06.600
because God keeps every promise He makes.

824
00:55:07.350 --> 00:55:10.230
And just like Mary, we need to look back 2000 years.

825
00:55:10.650 --> 00:55:14.880
And we need to remember that God sent Jesus to be the perfect sacrifice.

826
00:55:15.090 --> 00:55:18.330
God kept His promise to be the Savior of the world.

827
00:55:18.360 --> 00:55:20.820
God kept His promise to be the forgiver.

828
00:55:20.880 --> 00:55:24.150
God kept His promise and then we need to be able to look forward

829
00:55:24.150 --> 00:55:27.810
and recognize this celebrates the first Advent.

830
00:55:28.400 --> 00:55:30.930
But friends, can I tell you, there's another Advent coming.

831
00:55:31.920 --> 00:55:35.190
In Advent that is spoken of in Revelation, when it says

832
00:55:35.190 --> 00:55:38.760
there will come a day when He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

833
00:55:39.660 --> 00:55:42.390
There will come a day when death itself is defeated.

834
00:55:43.110 --> 00:55:47.320
There will come a day when their joy will never end.

835
00:55:48.760 --> 00:55:49.690
So here's what I want you to do.

836
00:55:50.500 --> 00:55:51.590
I want you to take out that card and I want you to hold it up in the air.

837
00:55:55.420 --> 00:55:57.370
Like you would hold up something defiantly,

838
00:55:57.370 --> 00:56:00.130
because here's the reality of the joy that Christmas brings.

839
00:56:00.340 --> 00:56:02.500
This is a defiant joy, friends.

840
00:56:02.680 --> 00:56:03.940
This is a defiant joy.

841
00:56:04.060 --> 00:56:06.010
So I don't know what your night looks like,

842
00:56:06.010 --> 00:56:08.890
but when the night comes, I want you to
look at this card and say, "You know what?

843
00:56:09.010 --> 00:56:10.900
But God has given me joy."

844
00:56:10.990 --> 00:56:12.790
When your night is being faced,

845
00:56:12.790 --> 00:56:15.340
I want you to hold this card up and say, "God has giving me joy."

846
00:56:15.520 --> 00:56:17.260
I want you to read the things on this card.

847
00:56:17.260 --> 00:56:17.270
I

848
00:56:17.470 --> 00:56:19.870
want you to rehearse the things on this card, because here's the thing.

849
00:56:20.170 --> 00:56:22.360
Everything on that card is from God.

850
00:56:23.750 --> 00:56:28.490
Every person that you put that brings you joy,
every situation that you've experienced that brings you joy.

851
00:56:28.700 --> 00:56:30.390
Every relationship that brings you joy.

852
00:56:30.590 --> 00:56:32.840
Every time you've been rescued and it brings you joy.

853
00:56:32.990 --> 00:56:35.450
If you put a healing on there and that gives you joy,

854
00:56:35.450 --> 00:56:38.030
you need to know all of that is from God.

855
00:56:38.030 --> 00:56:41.660
The same God that in James 1:17 it says this about:

856
00:56:51.110 --> 00:56:53.570
There is a light that breaks through every darkness.

857
00:56:54.170 --> 00:56:57.500
And when you see that light, the way that Mary saw that light,

858
00:56:57.500 --> 00:57:00.380
you too will say, "My soul magnifies the Lord."

859
00:57:01.510 --> 00:57:04.250
And I rejoice in the God of my salvation.

860
00:57:04.340 --> 00:57:07.610
Let's have a defiant joy this Christmas.

861
00:57:08.420 --> 00:57:13.790
God, I pray that for all of us, for whom our joy has to be defined

862
00:57:13.790 --> 00:57:18.590
this Christmas for any reason, whether it's financial, relational, physical.

863
00:57:18.590 --> 00:57:23.480
God, if that's the place that we're in, I pray that you would stir us up to Joy.

864
00:57:24.340 --> 00:57:28.660
That we would see through the Christmas
story how light breaks through the darkness.

865
00:57:29.110 --> 00:57:33.820
And we would know that that's not just the story that was relegated to Mary,

866
00:57:33.820 --> 00:57:37.060
but that that's the story of what You're doing in our lives right now.

867
00:57:37.090 --> 00:57:39.160
May it be the story of what You're doing in our lives.

868
00:57:39.400 --> 00:57:41.440
May it be the story of what You're doing in our country.

869
00:57:41.650 --> 00:57:44.230
May it be the story of what You are were doing in the world.

870
00:57:44.970 --> 00:57:46.330
And may it fill us with Your joy.

871
00:57:47.160 --> 00:57:49.500
In Jesus' name, Amen.

872
00:57:52.150 --> 00:57:53.950
Hey, so I think we should light this pink candle, right?

873
00:57:54.760 --> 00:57:55.520
We're going have some joy.

874
00:57:55.540 --> 00:57:57.720
I'm going to ask you guys to go ahead and stand up

875
00:57:57.720 --> 00:58:01.060
and we're gonna sing the defiant song Joy to the World.

876
00:58:01.090 --> 00:58:03.880
I don't know who this is for, but man,

877
00:58:03.880 --> 00:58:06.060
maybe somebody this needs to be your Christmas song.

878
00:58:06.060 --> 00:58:07.750
You need to put this on automatic play.

879
00:58:08.110 --> 00:58:09.130
You need to put it on repeat.

880
00:58:09.530 --> 00:58:10.930
You need to just tell yourself that

881
00:58:10.930 --> 00:58:12.950
I can have a defiant joy no matter what I'm facing.

882
00:58:12.970 --> 00:58:13.750
Let's sing this together.

883
00:59:31.880 --> 00:59:34.910
- Hopefully you feel a little bit more joy today as a result

884
00:59:34.910 --> 00:59:39.590
of the last hour and that you go into your next week full of joy.

885
00:59:40.070 --> 00:59:42.830
Join us next week for the Advent of Love.

886
00:59:42.870 --> 00:59:45.500
And don't forget about Christmas Eve services

887
00:59:45.500 --> 00:59:48.140
happening right here online and at a location near you.

888
00:59:48.350 --> 00:59:49.850
You can head to Crossroads.net

889
00:59:50.030 --> 00:59:52.430
to see the times and places that that's happening.

890
00:59:52.670 --> 00:59:54.980
And we'll see you next week for the Advent of Love.
Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend Follow Up.

  1. Whether it’s four candles and a wreath, or one of those new sweet lego calendars there’s a bunch of traditions that happen over the holiday season. What’s your favorite Christmas time tradition?

  2. Joy can feel like a big, vague idea. Let’s start unpacking that. First, how would you define joy?

  3. Now that we’ve defined joy, what are some things that bring it you and why? (Protip: think back to what you wrote on that green card or your phone during service.)

  4. Defiant joy is to trust God’s presence and light in the midst of darkness. Easy to say, tougher to do. Read Isaiah 9:2 out loud talk about where you might be “walking in darkness” right now?

  5. Pray: Help your group find that defiant joy. Take a moment and pray for joy and light in the places where your folks are walking through darkness.

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(This stuff helps us figure out how many fruitcakes to make come December)

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Dec 14, 2019

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