Dec 13, 2023

Advent 2023: Discovering Joy in the Midst of a Weary World

This Sunday, December 17, 2023, marks the third week of Advent this year. (If you’re unfamiliar with the practice or purpose of Advent, you can learn about the meaning in this video.)

So far in this Advent series, we’ve explored what it means for us as Christians to ground ourselves in hope and discover everlasting peace in this season. 

This week, we are reminded of the joy that is experienced when we reflect on the coming of Christ. In the five-minute video below, Obe Arellano—church planter and co-founder and executive director of Exponential Español—brings a timeless Christmas carol to the forefront as he explores the rich and deep lyrics that present the birth of Jesus in song. 

Arellano sits with a specific line from “O Holy Night” midway through the video: ”a weary world rejoices.” Equating the weariness of the people who lived during the time in which this carol was written to our current day and age, Arellano asks if it’s really any different? Even today, we live in a weary world.

Throughout the video, Arellano encourages us to sit with these truths:

  1. In the midst of our weariness, we can rejoice because our joy is found in Christ
  2. God wants us to experience real, deep, lasting joy—a joy that will not grow dim despite what it going on around us
  3. Knowing Jesus is good news, it is a gospel of joy—and we can share that joy with others

“And so the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold,
I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people.’”
—Luke 2:10 (NASB) 

Arellano wraps up by reminding us that, while the Christmas season can sometimes cause us to grow weary, in the midst of the planning and preparation, we can and should ground ourselves in the reason why we celebrate Christmas—to remember the birth of Christ and rejoice at the arrival of our savior. 

May you be blessed this Advent season, brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Further research and resources:

  • Are you trying to figure out what it means to lead effectively into the future? You’re not alone. Join The Resilient Pastor Cohort, a 12-week learning community launching late  January 2024, to help you grow in resilience. Learn more here.
  • Currently on its third season, The Resilient Pastor podcast is hosted by Glenn Packiam, Rich Villodas and Sharon Hodde Miller. Follow along as the hosts invite pastors to think out loud together about the challenges and opportunities facing church leadership today.

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