In regard to the post title, the short answer is “no.” I like short answers and I don’t think there is anything wrong with them but when it comes to sermons, one word sermons are usually not what people are expecting or wanting.
This is the third Sunday of Advent; the Sunday with the odd coloured candle; the Sunday of joy. As I mention in both sermons, it seems odd that the committee of very brainy people would have chosen these texts for a day devoted to joy. Why not something out of Philippians? Philippians has joy all over it. Isaiah, James, even Matthew, are not where I go when I am thinking of joy. However, when I looked more closely at the texts for this Sunday I came to the conclusion that they do say something about joy.
If we are going to look at these texts in light of joy I felt we needed to spend a bit of time talking about how “joy” and “happiness” are not the same. I realize they are interchangeable in popular culture and casual language but they are different. Happiness is a response to circumstances and joy is a deeper understanding of who we are in God. Give the sermons a listen, I think I made a reasonably compelling case about the nature of joy and how it relates to these texts but, as always, I’d love to hear how I did.
Knox Presbyterian Where to find joy?
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Where to find joy?