Following Jesus, fulfilling His mission

Advent 4 Joy that lasts is centred on Jesus

Joy that lasts is Advent Joy.

“Hector and the search for happiness” – (François Lelord) Hector (Simon Pegg) is a quirky psychiatrist who has become tired of his humdrum life, yet he’s offering advice to patients who are just not getting happier.   

And then he felt very afraid because he wondered whether these unhappy people were contagious. 

So he embarks on a global quest in hopes of uncovering the elusive secret formula for true happiness. 

Quote: “Happiness. We’re tearing our hair out to try to find a definition of it, for heaven’s sake. Is it joy? People will tell you that it isn’t, that joy is a fleeting emotion, a moment of happiness…” 

Interesting – what is true joy?  

Carl Laferton – Rescuing Christmas: The Search for Joy that Lasts 

“Do you look forward to getting to Christmas as a day of fleeting joy amid the struggles of life? Or just aim to get through Christmas, as it reminds you of the reasons joy is missing from life? 

Often, we’re so busy getting to or getting through that we don’t actually get Christmas—and when we miss its meaning, we miss out on a joy that lasts.” 

Joy that lasts is Advent Joy

Transition: Joy that lasts is centred on person of Jesus not on the season. 

1 John 1:1–4 (NLT) 1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. 2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.  

Remember John 1 John 1:1,14 (NLT) 1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.  

4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy… 

This is a great passage that fits with our advent theme of re-story as it  

  • looks back to creation (the beginning) and 
  •  includes the incarnation “We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands”. 
  • And is current “he is the one who is eternal life.” That’s real now. 

The thinking behind Advent or the purpose was to anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ to earth; it was a season that focused on waiting – so we’re wanting to take on the posture of waiting. 

Our re-story is told as we stand right here looking back to what has already happened but also looking forward to what will happen into the future. This gives us clarity on how we are to live in the present. 

Advent is the season of joy. Past. Present. And future joy.