Joy in the Meantime
Reading Philippians with Advent Eyes
By David Romanik
Kierkegaard once reminded us that it takes courage to be joyful. This may seem like a strange statement, because joy tends to be regarded as a mere synonym for happiness. But while happiness is contingent on the circumstances of life, joy is unconditional. It is a determined orientation of the will, grounded in a conviction that hope does not disappoint. Joy transcends and embraces all of the triumphs and tragedies of life, and as such, it requires steadfastness and courage.
Paul’s letter to the Philippians is many things: a letter from prison, a collection of practical advice, and a reflection on the power of the incarnation. More than anything else, however, is a sustained meditation on joy. Paul encourages the Philippians to rejoice in all circumstances, even in the midst of their present trials. The season of Advent calls us to adopt a similar perspective on the world. Beginning on Sunday, November 29, at 10:30, join David Romanik as he leads an exploration of this joyful letter, and considers how it can shape our lives of faith throughout Advent and beyond.