Scripture: Luke 1:39-45; Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
This Sunday in our Advent sermon series, A Light in the Darkness, we are talking about the theme of joy. We begin by talking about how the Greeks used the word happy to describe people in two different types of circumstances.
The first type of circumstance is when a person is wealthy and able to enjoy a life free of the cares and worries of the average person. This type of happiness applies to someone who has so much money that they can do whatever they please. Since very few people had wealth in ancient Greece, this type of happiness applied to only a small fraction of the population.
The second type of circumstance is when a person experiences a stroke of good luck, such as receiving money or good health. This type of happiness is much more universal and represents a feeling derived from unexpected good fortune.
For the Greeks, happiness has to do with money, things, and comfort. Happiness is the result of your external environment providing you with pleasure. In this way, the Greeks understood that happiness is only temporary. It cannot be sustained indefinitely. Yet, we live in a world where we are encouraged by our society to constantly seek out the things that will bring us happiness and to get rid of those things that make us unhappy.
The problem is this is an elusive goal because constant happiness is unsustainable and so we are searching for something that does not exist. So rather than search for happiness to fill those empty places in our hearts, we should be searching for joy because joy lasts forever and joy is what Jesus’ story is all about. This Sunday we are going to explore how Jesus brings joy to our lives and why that matters so much more than happiness. Have a great weekend. Christmas will be here before you know it!