Wednesday after the Third Sunday of Advent

1 Chronicles 15:11-29, 2 Samuel 6:16-22, Luke 15:4-32, 1 Peter 1:3-9

Have you ever leapt for joy? David did. He and his men were proudly and joyfully bringing ’s Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. In Hebrew, the underlying emotion of all David’s celebrating/leaping/whirling/skipping is joy. David is so filled with joy, he expresses it in such a way that the bride of his youth despises him. We know little about Michal, but we can guess that she had certain s of how the King (oh, and her husband) should behave. David was having nothing to do with her s. His audience of joy was . David did understand that understood David’s behavior better than proud Michal.

The shepherd and woman in ’ parables also acted exuberantly. It was time to Holy Party and it was okay for them to party. They were “only” lowly people. The kind that Michal looked down upon. makes it clear, though, that Heaven doesn’t care about where they fit in society. To add insult to the Michals of the world, then tells a tale of the wealthy father who dropped everything and gave a huge party for his wayward son who had abandoned his family, but had now ed. It was disgraceful.

David’s “inappropriate” joyful leaping and the wealthy father’s “disgraceful” party represent the unbounded of and the inhabitants of Heaven as one more person turns to as Savior. Think of the mess that accompany the opening of presents by little children. The paper and tape and ribbon and…it’s everywhere. Undisguised and unabashed abandon at ripping off the paper and ribbons. Yep, can’t to open the “present” of someone turning to him.

Many of us were taught that was angry, or vengeful, or judgmental, or unloving, or distant. Contrast this to the dirty shepherd hugging the missing sheep, the woman who turned her house upside down to find a coin, a dignified king willing to be a fool, and a father who saw his son and not a failure. That IS . We talk about joy during Christmas. Any (and fully every) day is “Christmas” for as he opens another present of a person rescued!

1) Why is it important to understand abandoning oneself when joyful?

2) Can you think of a time you “forgot” yourself, and where you were, and just let go? Think back, and compare the feeling (body, soul, mind) of “abandoning” joy, versus a time when you controlled your joyful . Is there a difference?

KD) What do you do when you are joyful? Do you dance, sing, scream, or run around? Do you think does that when someone chooses ? Why or why not?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.