Advent Candles: Joy!
Updated: Dec 23, 2019
This year, the Luke 14 Blog has decided to take a closer look at the advent candles and how their traditional meaning relates to disabilities and disability ministry. This week, Darlene LaPlue reflects on the third candle, the Joy candle.
Good News of Great Joy!
Our next Advent candle is JOY!
Joy came bursting back into our world when Jesus arrived as a tiny, helpless baby. The angel announced it to some roughed up shepherds out in the fields nearby. “Do not be afraid. I bring you Good News of Great Joy!” And they hurried off to find this thing that had come to pass in the most unlikely of places – a feeding trough in a small, forgotten town. Really???
As I reflect on “unlikely places” where I have encountered GREAT JOY in my life, I cannot help but think of my sweet, young friend, Megan Broyles. Diagnosed with Epilepsy in her first year, her life has not been easy. Seizures – hundreds of seizures – have stolen much of her brain, taking away her ability to walk and to speak. Enduring multiple brain surgeries and her family being told that she would no longer be able to express emotion – neither sadness nor joy – this was perhaps the hardest pill to swallow.
But God must have said, “I THINK NOT!” Defying any medical explanation, Megan Broyles expresses emotion. Take a look for yourself! This girl, now 19 years old, is the personification of JOY. She laughs and laughs hysterically – sometimes silently – unable to stop and catch her breath. That girl laughs in the darkness. She laughs in hospital beds, loaded with tubes and needles. She laughs in the face of bleak outlooks and an uncertain future. Proverbs 31 says that is a mark of a virtuous woman!
Watch this recording and see if you don’t laugh with Megan. Megan’s joy is contagious. It’s infectious! It is the “joy unspeakable” that Peter talks about in I Peter 1:8. It is Jesus bursting out of Megan, right into our dark and sad worlds. JOY TO THE WORLD!!! Thank you Megan for declaring that every single day of the year!!!