Advent Devotional: The Joyful Mystery

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14 NKJV).

In the late 1990’s I chose an elderly Jesuit priest, Father Hank, as my spiritual director and confessor. We were very different men with very different views of Christ, the church, and our visions of ministry, but we had a very genuine respect and affection for each other. And we agreed we were both awed by the way the Creator God chose to infiltrate mankind and redeem His creation from the inside out. The Joyful Mystery of the Incarnation was what Father Hank called it. The Joyful Mystery. The ultimate new beginning. And I agree.

In my work during the past 25 years as a psychotherapeutic pastoral counselor, it continues to amaze me how Christ, The Joyful Mystery incarnate, continues the Creator’s work of recreating people from the inside out, activating the image of God at the heart of each soul and guiding those who are willing forward into a fuller, deeper life story. The Joyful Mystery is that the Divine wants to live His story in and through each of us!

So now during this Advent season, this season of new beginnings, I encourage you to join with Father Hank and me and all the Christ ones everywhere in celebrating the Joyful Mystery of our Creator’s outstanding love. And with the angels in Heaven, let us proclaim from the heart of our souls, “Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth…peace…and good will to all of the Divine’s beloved children!”

John Joy is the oldest son of Donald and Robbie Joy. A graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary, he was pastor of the Lexington Free Methodist Church, Christ Community, in the 1980’s. For the past 25 years John has been in private practice as psychotherapeutic counselor at New Beginnings.