12.20.2017 Back to News

A Message from the Methodist Chaplains for the Third Week of Advent: Joy

In celebration of the Christian season of Advent, there will be an Advent wreath in the chapels at Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital, and each Wednesday, there will be a short devotional written by one of Methodist's staff chaplains.

These reflections can be read here on Employee Connections or picked up in the chapel. Scroll down for the message for the third Sunday of Advent.

The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah began on December 12, and there is a menorah placed in each chapel.

It is our hope that during these seasons and celebrations, you will find quiet moments to sit and discover something meaningful and life-giving for you.

Grace and Peace,
The Methodist Chaplains

Advent: Week 3

What does the word JOY mean to you? I have come across such divergent definitions and expressions of this term, that I want to engage you in some reflection as we enter a season that is to be joy-filled! 

At times it seems like joy is a shallow emotion, a feeling that comes and goes, depending more on what life brings to us and less on what we already have. However, that can be challenged by the lyrics to a song we sang in Sunday school: "I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart!”

This would suggest that joy comes from within rather than being dependent on my outer circumstances or experiences. What do you think?

Even though we may seek it, joy at times can remain hidden just out of sight, waiting until just the right moment to surprise us. Since I work at Methodist Women’s Hospital, I’ll tell you about the day our second child was delivered. We had decided not to learn the sex of our second child ahead of time, but I will never forget the squeal of delight from my wife when the doc said, “It’s a girl!” She was overcome with joy! Have you been surprised by joy? 

I will close with a few of the quotes from "Joy," a small but very thought-provoking book compiled by M.H. Clark:               

  • “Joy is not in things, it is in us.” – Richard Wagner

  • “To be able to find joy in another’s joy, that is the secret of  happiness.”  – George Bernanos

  •  “The joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you.”  – John Greenleaf Whittier

  •  “We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.”  – Joseph Campbell

  •  “Resolved, that I will take each precious minute, and relish all the joy within it.”  – Kathleen Rice

I hope amidst the gifts you give and receive this holiday season, you find joy. It’s one of the greatest gifts we can give as well as receive from those we love!      

Chaplain Dan Johnston