As with all of the themes of Advent, we must reach beyond the surface to see them become active in our lives. Of course, we can always see evidence of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace as they are played out daily in our lives. But to have the concepts become a reality in our lives goes beyond the surface. As they say, we have to get to the heart of the matter.

And so, if we are looking for Joy this Christmas season, the best place to start is not in the bright and cheery music played in malls and elevators (even when these songs turn our minds heavenward). Nor should we stop with the shiny smiles on little ones’ faces (although the smiles and laughter of the innocents warms our own attitudes). As the children’s song says, we must have the Joy “down in my heart.” Where’s your Joy this Christmas?

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