May love and joy come to you…

Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green;
Here we come a-wandering, so fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you, and to you our wassail, too.
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year

1st stanza to a traditional English carol

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Even though the Disciples suffered persecution, they were filled with joy.
One would have expected them to be depressed or angry or resentful.
The very fact that they responded to persecution with joy is a sign that
the Spirit was guiding their actions.
We can use that same test with our own words and actions.”

Rev. Jude Winkler, O.F.M., p. 11
An Excerpt From
Daily Meditations Holy Spirit

Love and joy…
two sentiments found in an old English carol which are, if the truth be told,
actually so much more than mere holiday fodder sung during just a particular time of year
but rather they are two paramount fruits of the Spirit.

We sing about them.
We think about them.
We might even find ourselves with wistful thoughts yearning over
along with hoping over…
Yet sadly I fear that we have become so jaded as a culture that we have
allowed the caustic wave that is blanketing our society to corrode our yearnings
leaving us more than simply longing but rather coming up woefully short.

Love and Joy, for and with our fellow man, woman, and child, are not only difficult
to find but are more and more difficult for us to actually feel.

It’s certainly easy enough to say all of this after turning on a television and
catching any news program, talk show, or late night comedy show…
as they are rife with everything that has nothing to do
with Love or Joy or any gift having anything to do with the Spirit…
but I say this more from a little incident Sunday morning that left me
scratching my head while questioning the notion of both Love and Joy.

Yesterday was the third Sunday of Advent.
It is known as Gaudete Sunday or Gaudete Domino Semper” (“Rejoice in the Lord always”).

The word ‘rejoice’ is found in the Latin lyrics of the traditional and ancient Advent Hymn–
Veni Veni Emmanuel

Veni, veni Emmanuel!
Captivum solve Israel!
Qui gemit in exilio,
Privatus Dei Filio,
Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel
nascetur pro te, Israel.

O COME, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,
to thee shall come Emmanuel!

We are to rejoice with a spirit of Love and Joy…
over the Spirit of Love and Joy

My little tale began this weekend.

We had spent the night Saturday evening babysitting the Mayor as her dad had taken her mom
to see the Nutcracker—both of them will be celebrating their 30th birthdays this week
so our son surprised our daughter-n-law with tickets to the play at the historic
Atlanta Fox Theater.

And because we wouldn’t be able to celebrate with them during the week due to
work schedules, we thought we could go enjoy a late Sunday morning brunch
for a little low key family celebration before we were to head back home.

We opted to go to a lovely little French restaurant that we have loved and enjoyed
throughout the years which happens to be located in what was once a quaint
old neighborhood home.

These particular neighborhood homes, in this particular area of town,
came into existence beginning in the early 1920s and were lived in
until about late 1960’s—right when the city was hitting a stride of a boom,
turning the entire area into the trendy shopping and dining mecca it’s known for today
that being Buckhead.

In fact, the high school my parents attended is just around the corner…which is now
some sort of new learning center.
Many of the homes in this neighborhood were once the homes of their friends yet have
since been turned into haute couture boutiques or trendy restaurants.

The street where this restaurant is located is as it was decades ago…
shaded by old oaks with cars parked on either side of
the street making it a tight squeeze when two cars meet that are driving either
up and down the street simultaneously, narrowly missing one another let alone those
parked along the curb.

Our reservations were for 11:30.

We arrived about 10 minutes early and the valet fellow
was setting out his sign but there was a large truck delivering fresh fruit currently
blocking the driveway.
I had my blinker on to turn as we were waiting for the delivery guy to move his truck.

At this point, my daughter-n-law hopped out of the front seat to help me maneuver my car
into the driveway between the truck and a parked car as the valet told us to try and
squeeze in if we could.
She was going to check the distance between the car parked on the curb right by the
driveway and the truck.

Thankfully the delivery guy came out at this crucial moment to get in his truck and move.
Leaving us without having to hold our breath squeezing in between unmovable objects.

However, it was also at the same moment that suddenly a jeep drove up right up behind me
and proceeded to blow their horn.

My daughter-n-law motioned to the jeep to please wait for just a minute.
Because obvioulsy they could see that we were waiting on a delivery truck
to pull out of the driveway we were waiting to turn into.

However, the horn blowing proceeded.

My husband and son, sitting in the back seat with the baby, both reached for the door
so fast, practically falling out of the car over one another, to see what was up with
the jeep.

At this point, my daughter-n-law tells the lady in the jeep that we’re just about
to pull in if she could just hold on a minute, we’d be out of her way,
since obviously, we were having to wait on the delivery truck to move.

The lady in the jeep tells my daughter-n-law that we are being rude sitting in the
road and that she needed to hurry to take her daughter to her riding lessons.

Late for a horse riding lesson in the middle of the urban city??…hummm

She obviously wanted me out of her way come hell or high water or both.

We had only been waiting maybe 3 minutes max when she had pulled up
and we were just about to turn in.

And so with the continued honking horn and the selfish escalating words from the
lady in the jeep fussing about me not moving out of her way,
my oh so pregnant and out of patience daughter-n-law had had her fill…
she proceeded to tell this woman that she could kindly wait just one minute or take those
riding lessons and shove them into a dark, tight and painful place.

At this point the truck moved, the valet motioned me in while the jeep zoomed
past me, narrowly missing my car’s back end.

The valet guy, who had felt helpless, was beside himself telling us that that lady in
the jeep was “a rude looser” and that “this is the season for love and joy”,
as well as a time for little bit of patience. Where was her giving spirit??!!

Did I mention it was a chilly, grey, misty, foggy yucky kind of day…
of which cast a somber veil over the day?
Did I mention that this is a section of town known for being a bit upper crust?
Something my aunt use to laugh over whenever she came back to Atlanta
to visit as she remembered this neighborhood when…

All of us adults in the car, with the Mayor oblivious, were now frazzled with raw nerves.
The Mayor was just ready to be set free from the restraints of a car seat…
restraint is not something the Mayor is fond of as of late.

Grousing as we made our way inside, I had to remind everyone, myself included,
not to let this ruin our day or our time together.

But those sorts of occurrences tend to linger in one’s craw.

Especially when considering yourself to be a mild-mannered, patient
law-abiding citizen of the world whose thought process is live and let live.

I was glad my husband and son could not maneuver seatbelts and a car door both fast
enough to get out of the car, having to leave the dirty work to a pregnant lady who
teaches jr high school right here before a major holiday and was well past putting
up with anyone’s selfish nonsense.

And so now I am pulled back to the notion of Love and Joy.

As in where is the Love and Joy?
Where is the patience, the kindness, the peace?
The fruits?

Finally seated at the table, with the Mayor now opting to go wild,
my husband reminded us that 99% of folks are nice and kind and of whom want to
do the right thing…but it’s always that one person out there who can simply ruin
it all in one fell swoop and think nothing of it.
Leaving us to forget all the good while the bad glaringly taunts our thoughts
and emotions.

And so I was quickly reminded of the one who rejoices in the negative, the bad and
the wrong all found in the tiny percentage versus the good found in the
large percent. Much the opposite of the One who leaves the whole in order to seek
out the one who is lost.

From all of this, the one thing I do know is that Satan, who much like Santa
(note, Satan is real…Santa is, well, in the North Pole)
goes into to overdrive, particularly this time of year, working very hard to rob us all
of any sentiment of a Holy season while he joyously strives
to rob us of those life-giving fruits of the Spirit.

Because if we lose those Fruits we lose ourselves and in turn, a wedge is driven between us
and the very Spirit of God and in turn, Satan claims a tiny victory.

And so yes–whereas we, those of us in my car, needed to be mindful of that very
thought when confronted with a sudden difficult situation, we, as in humankind,
all need to be mindful of how we treat one another—
as holidays seem to bring out both the very best and the very worst in humanity.

So as this is the season of gift giving…
We must remember that we have each been given Spirit-filled gifts.
Life-giving gifts.
We have also been given the gift of Salvation.

Life-giving gifts which are meant to be lived and shared.

The remembrance of this particular holiday season blessedly remains as not merely a reminder
but rather as a wake-up call…
A call not so much of nostalgia or of the fact that we struggle with consumerism…
but rather the call that we are to strive to be gracious gift givers…
gracious in giving gifts that are neither bought nor wrapped…
but rather gifts that we as Believers have each been endowed with…giving
way to the best gift given to all mankind.

May we then be quick to share our Fruitful gifts while at the same time rejoicing
in the most precious gift of all…our very Salvation.

May love and joy come to you…

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.
Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High,
because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Luke 6:35

26 comments on “May love and joy come to you…

  1. oneta hayes says:

    Merry Christmas, with peace, love, joy and the trimmings. The incident gave a chance to test the fruit, huh? Is patience one of the fruits? I can’t remember at the moment.

    • Obviously no one else remembers that either Oneta 😉 —and often that is me included, leading the way of the impatient —
      It was an important lesson for all of us—I just think the lady racing to the horse lessons may have not stuck around long enough to learn her part… 🙂

  2. atimetoshare.me says:

    I can just picture your pregnant daughter in law telling off the Jeep lady. I truly wonder what’s happened to peace and joy,especially at a time when it should be oozing out of every pore. Praise God for his patience with all of us.❤️

    • Tt really was funny, after the fact. Our son even told her that he was proud of her as did my husband who I think regreted not being the one who was doing the telling off…
      One more small reason why he hates coming to “the city”—
      I thought I probably should have added that as a moral to the tale—-don’t mess with a preganant lady!

  3. Salvageable says:

    Yesterday’s sermon was about rejoicing and not being anxious. And it included one of my favorite themes: those are promises, not commandments. There was a list of reasons to rejoice, but also a reminder not to feel guilty if the peace and joy and love don’t seem to be there every moment–they are present all the same. J.

  4. Citizen Tom says:

    Impatient people punish themselves.

    Psalm 46 New King James Version (NKJV)
    God the Refuge of His People and Conqueror of the Nations
    To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song for Alamoth.
    46 God is our refuge and strength,
    A[a] very present help in trouble.
    2 Therefore we will not fear,
    Even though the earth be removed,
    And though the mountains be carried into the [b]midst of the sea;
    3 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
    Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
    4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
    The holy place of the [c]tabernacle of the Most High.
    5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be [d]moved;
    God shall help her, just [e]at the break of dawn.
    6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
    He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
    7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
    8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    Who has made desolations in the earth.
    9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
    He burns the chariot in the fire.
    10 Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!

    11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

    Those who never take the time to be still don’t know God.

    • I was reading this Tom when I was leaving the doctor’s office and litterally stopped in my tracks reading your last line—“Those who never take the time to be still don’t know God.”
      So simple yet so deeply profound Tom.
      And there I was, stopping to read words of God!

      It’s not merely about being still is it…but more of the congnizant purposeful action of being still…I can be still yet a brain races on…so it is more of an action both physical and inward which, to the causal observer, would seem to be nothing of any consequence, yet it is of the utmost importantace. Thank you for that Tom!

  5. Solitaire says:

    happy holidays and blessings

  6. Wally Fry says:

    As much as the carnal man in me would like to say bad things about that lady, perhaps we don’t know her story. Her story, of course, does not excuse rudeness, but we have a chance as Christians to shine the light of Jesus. I have learned a lot this season about untold, hidden stories.

  7. David says:

    I have had an unpleasant encounter with the horsey set in the UK Julie. I didn’t react well. It was quite a few years ago now but I find myself judging them all the same way now. It is possible that some of them are decent people.

    • They tend to be clueless I often find— oblivious really to reality outside of their realm— and that’s not necessarily a royal realm

      • David says:

        In the UK they tend to be obnoxious!

      • As they do in Buckhead David.
        Years back one Saturday, Brenton and I walked into the Orvis store in Buckhead. It’s a nice clothing store that sells a lot of Barbour clothing along with their own lines and has a focus on fly fishing and some hunting–so they also sell a great deal of dog paraphernealia for hunting along with clothing and items for both men and women… Brenton happens to like the Barbour shirts and the Orvis pants fit him, due to his build, where other pants don’t.
        Imagine my surprise when a father and son, a younger son of about 10, both walk in wearing full fox hunting regalia.
        White breeches, red coat, white dress shirt and tie and were looking to buy some Le Chameau welly type boots…
        Here we were in the middle of the urban jungle of the city, and two fellows come in dressed ready for the hunt…I thought “really?!”
        not to mention how pretentious can you be?
        Seems they were from out of town and needed a pair of boots ASAP as I assume there was a wardrobe malfunction.
        Again, oblivious.

      • David says:

        Ah! The ‘tally-ho’ brigade. The uniform does seem to be green wellies with straps at the top and Barbour jackets!

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