“There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. .“ Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the book of Romans in the Bible, Paul prays this for the Roman people:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Joy is not something that can be changed easily by external factors, BUT it IS something that can be given to us and that we, in turn, can spread to others.
Connecting with others in our normal ways has completely gone out of the window as this year has been turned upside down. We’ve had to be creative in how we connect and relate to one another. One thing that my girls did during the first lockdown was to send these life-sized ‘hugs’ to their Grandparents.
How can you creatively scatter joy to those around you? Especially in the run up to Christmas when we are unable to spend face to face time with all of the people that we would like to!
Rather than spreading Covid this Christmas – how can you spread joy??
In previous Advent Challenges we’ve been able to do a lot more than this year. For obvious reasons, we’re a bit more restricted on the activities we can do!
That’s why todays challenge comes in the form of a promise, or an I.O.U. Think of someone who you would like to treat, perhaps someone you haven’t been able to see over the past few months. When you have that person in mind, think of what you could do to treat them when life, perhaps, returns to ‘normal.’ When you have the person AND treat in mind, it’s time to write! Make them an I.O.U. card which says what you’re going to treat them with!
Here’s some ideas: – A hot chocolate date – Baking cakes together – A cinema trip – A home cooked meal – A party!?
When I meet someone who seems to be really joyful, one of the first things I notice is how positive they are about life. No matter what situation they’re facing, they always seem to face it with a smile. That’s not to say that life isn’t tough for them – because it can be for us all, but instead their outlook seems to be different.
One of the phrases that seems to be doing the rounds on the internet is “choose joy,” and that seems to be what these joyful people do! When faced with hardship, rather than wallowing, they CHOOSE to look at the situation positively.
SO, today on Mindful Monday, my challenge to you is to CHOOSE JOY. Say to yourself every morning this week; “today may be hard, I may face challenges, but I choose to see the good and be joyful throughout.”
As we go into our third week of Advent we prepare by lighting the candle that represents JOY!
When we speak about joy, we don’t mean happiness, which is fleeting, can change and be impacted by all sorts of things (think; annoying siblings, the weather, stubbing your toe, your team loosing the game…). Instead, when we say joy we mean the deep knowledge and contentedness of knowing who we are in the world as beloved children of God.
We will be exploring the idea of joy in a bit more detail over the coming weeks, but as you light the third advent candle together, you might like to watch the following videos featuring some highly esteemed Harvington based actors. These were made by some members of our youth group a number of years ago and tries to show the joy that some of the people surrounding the first Christmas may have felt.
Tonight tonight! Your challenge today is to come along with your household team to our zoom quiz and WIN!!! Prizes for winners. Raising money for Save the Children (with your Christmas jumpers). Christmas cake up for auction! Come along! What’s not to love!
When we were thinking about peace at the beginning of the week, we talked about how the peace that Jesus provides is holistic, and affects every part of our being.
Today your challenge is to think of someone who needs a little peace. Do you know anyone who is dealing with anxiety or stress? Write them a letter or a card encouraging them and telling them that you’re thankful for them!
Today’s challenge is a little different. It’s sometimes difficult to know how we ourselves can bring peace into our communities, so we’re going to look at a charity that has been doing just that for 50 years.
CHIPS is a project that believes Jesus calls us to be peacemakers. They have had projects all over the world, with people living in and bringing peace to areas of conflict.
In the video below they speak of two projects currently running in Ghana and Brixton, London. Have a watch and maybe talk to your family or friends about how you could be a peacemaker in your own community. We’d love to hear your ideas.
If you tried, you could find hundreds of mindfulness colouring books on the shelves of lots and lots of shops. Mindfulness colouring books are designed to help you clear your mind and rid you of your stress through using your creativity.
As a Christian though mindfulness, or meditation and contemplation, takes on a different form. Rather than emptying your mind only for being rid of stress, we empty it to fill it with the good things that come from God. One way to do this is by meditating on words that he gave us.
Below you can download our colouring sheet with words taken from the Bible, these are words that Jesus gave his disciples, promising them that His spirit would be with them. As we move through this week thinking about peace, maybe you would like to spend some time colouring in this picture, meditating on the words that Jesus gave us.