Rejoice? Really?


“How does a weary world rejoice,” was an advent question any of us could have suggested. How many times have you woken up thinking about the many things you have to do, the many ways you wonder if you can provide for the things your family needs whether it is hugs and smiles at the right moment or food on the table? How many days have you looked at the TV and realized that you have a TV and sigh with the realization that around the world people are stepping over piles of rubble and garbage looking for water or food, not a tv show?

We are weary with sorrow all around us. Why should any of us put on a happy face with all this, all this, here, there, yes, everywhere?

“Rejoice,” comes the angel message. “I bring you good news.” If only!

Have you allowed yourself to hear it? To see it? To be amazed that in the midst of this weary world’s calamities, there are actually things, and people that bring joy into our lives?

This Sunday we will consider allowing for joy in the midst of great sorrow is a spiritual practice the world needs from us. It is not false hope, nor pie-in-the-sky idealism. It is the only thing that can point to the places of life in the face of death. It is our way of bringing joy to the world.

This week, when you feel a slight smile, let it grow. Rejoice in being amazed by grace. Listen for the angels to sing. 
“How does a weary world rejoice?” A Sanctified Art, @sanctifiedart, (c) 2023


Gratitude Attitude

Do you have an attitude?

That was rhetorical. The better question is what kind of attitude do you have. Are you a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person? Do you expect the worst and hope for the best or expect the best and cope with what’s not? Do you have an attitude of gratitude?

Research into the effects of a gratitude mindset consistently show positive health outcomes and even changes in the way your brain processes life’s curveballs, routines, and joys. People have stronger relationships, healthier lives, more emotionally satisfying experiences when they practice gratitude, either in writing, journaling, sending thank you notes, or even pausing to think of things to be grateful about.

As a day on your annual calendar

Thanksgiving is a great excuse to begin a new practice or refresh a current one. This is actually an ancient practice, a spiritual means of grace, and a Biblical standard for worshipping the Lord.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, 
for his steadfast love endures forever. 
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, 
those he redeemed from trouble 
and gathered in from the lands, 
from the east and from the west, 
from the north and from the south. Ps 107

For the next 6 weeks, from now until January 4, make a commitment to thanks giving. You might:

  • Pray at bedtime – Lord, today I thank you for ___ because _____.
  • Pause before every time you eat something and say thank you toward those who provided the food (farmers, packagers, cooks, chefs, spouse—whoever comes to your mind).
  • Get a pad or small notebook and write at least 3 days each week a list of things that made you feel thankful, or even utter the words, “thank goodness, thank God,” or just plain happy.
  • Get a journal in which to write about the experience of being happy. More than noting an event, this is an inward reflection on your body and mind and spirit’s experience of joy—what it actually feels like when happiness occurs.
  • Send a thank you note to someone twice a week.
  • OR anything you think of to put into practice cultivating an attitude of gratitude.


Stewardship of our lives is more than how much money we might donate to the church or to charity or to the kid selling candy bars for school. Stewardship is a proper self-management that allows us to be ready, willing and able to proclaim good news in a weary world. With an attitude of gratitude, we are useful to God’s ongoing mission in Christ to be a healing and reconciling people because
  • our bodies are healthier, even when ill,
  • our minds are clearer, even when coping with dis-eases of mental illnesses,
  • and our spirits are fruitful, even when coping with fear, anger, or sadness.
May this Thanksgiving holiday become more than turkeys and dressing. May it be a holy day of renewal for following the Way of Jesus Christ.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, 
give thanks in all circumstances, 
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 
Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thess 5: 16-19

With thanksgiving for you, 
Some research references:


Too Weary to Celebrate?

Holidays sometimes feel like anything other than “holy days.”

The stereotypical jokes about family feuds exist because the family dysfunctions are real and painful. The absence of a loved one who has died, recently or a long time ago, can be an acute pain during the next several weeks. Party invitations are nice; yet, sometimes it is easier to turn out the lights and pull up the covers. Perhaps you want to honor all the mixed emotions you have, or not offend someone you are concerned about who may have conflicted feelings as the holiday celebrations begin. How do we care for each other and ourselves when the world is rejoicing and we are crying?
This is the theme for our Advent and Christmas series,

“How does a weary world rejoice?”

Throughout the season we will consider practices of faith that acknowledge the sorrow in the world and our need for hope and peace, while finding pathways to joy. The first service will be on December 3. Then a mid-week opportunity on Wednesday the 6th gathers us for a light supper at 6:00 p.m. followed by worship at 6:45 p.m. “A Service for the Weary” is not exclusive to those who dread the holidays for any reason. All of us have moments of weariness in the busy-ness of the coming weeks. I hope you will pause to take stock of the ways you can bring the life-less parts of yourself before God that the Holy Spirit might bring a new energy to your tired bones and soul.


When that dreaded conversation pops up over the carving of the turkey, and you wonder what to say, perhaps you might ask them, “what makes you weary,” or “what keeps you from the joy you deserve?” No need to fix them if they choose to answer. No need to hide your answer from them. Simply be together, wonder together, and hear the tiredness in their soul as in yours as you both speak of longing for something better.

And if you go around offering thanks, know that at my table, I will be giving thanks for you, possibly by name, but surely by the Spirit, because you, child of God, offer to the world what only you can and in that gift of self, you are the delight of your Creator.  

Happy Thanksgiving.

How Does a Weary World Rejoice, A Sanctified Art, LLC, 2024