I loved this article on God's gift of Joy during advent....Here is an excerpt:
Advent is a time in which we must make ourselves open to being humbled, to feeling our own limits. Three purple candles: three Sundays, one still to come, of serious humbling, of waiting.
But this is the interesting thing: God knows this is difficult. He knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. And so, we celebrate the third Sunday—the “joyful” Sunday—with a pink, celebratory candle.......I think of this as God’s way of reminding us that we are not just slogging through a miserable existence because he asks us to. He wishes us to find joy here, now, as a taste of what we can expect—as a reminder of what we’re waiting for.
This is the beauty of the rose candle. It is a beauty that reminds us that even when we are to be repenting, even when we must feel the limitations of our humanity, there is something bigger under us, holding us up, holding all things together. I’ve come to believe that we can only experience joy—we can only smile, and celebrate—when we know that the good things are a gift from the one who sees the bad and still tells us, rest, delight, be joyful.
He wishes us to find Joy now. We wait for Joy and rightfully so, because nothing in this earth will ever make us fully contended. We long for His return, and even daily we long for our circumstances to change. We long for healing or the return of loved ones. But, the pink candle reminds us that there is JOY to be had now, there is living in the waiting. So while we spend this season reflecting, hoping, praying, repenting, longing, Let us also spend it enjoying all the many blessings the Lord has given us!