JOY- Advent in Sweden

DEVOTIONAL:  Scripture tells us in Nehemiah that 'the JOY of the LORD is our strength'!  It is easy to run out of strength when waiting.  Especially in hard seasons. But when we remember all the acts of deliverance to us from God, we are filled with JOY, which then gives us strength!  As we meditate on the JOY candle this week, ask God to remind you where He has brought you from.  And for those of us who carry heavy burdens during the holidays - loss, depression, loneliness - may you find JOY in the good presence of your God (Acts 2:28).
SCRIPTURE:  Luke: 1:46
"My soul glorifies the LORD and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.  From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me - Holy is His Name."
FUN FACT:   Santa Lucia is the celebration that starts Christmas in Sweden on December 13. This celebration comes from stories that were told by monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden.  St. Lucia was martyred at a young age for her faith in Jesus.  She brought food to the persecuted church in Rome, and legend has it she wore candles on her head, so her hands were free to carry more.  On Christmas in Sweden, people go to church, and then celebrate together over a traditional family buffet dinner (Smorgasbord).
BREATH PRAYER:  Use this breath prayer this week as you meditate on the JOY candle.
Inhale:  Grant to me God
Exhale:  A spirit of rejoicing 
**Do you know about breath prayer?  It's as simple as breathing.  You inhale with one simple stanza (prayer) and out with another.  The simplicity of it allows us to pray all throughout our day.  The significance of it allows us to inhale and exhale connection with God all throughout the day!  Give it a try!
QUESTION TO CONSIDER:
1.  What about God brings you JOY this season? 
Check out "Stilla Natt" by Carola
Advent Website | Scripture Advent Calendar | Contributions from Pastor Polly
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