Saturday, the third week of advent devotion comes from Michael Hoy's, "Light of Grace: Devotions for Advent."
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Psalm 98:4 NRSV
The light of joy graces not only humanity but all creation. The earth makes a joyful noise to the Lord, breaking forth into songs of praise.
Amoung the great darkness of our time is the darkness of damage done to the creation itself. And creation has not failed to cry out in its pain and suffering. Even humanity has suffered from the devastation of earthquakes, hurricans and drought. The darkness is worse yet, for humanity is not without blame for these violent conditions we experience. We have hurt not only creation but the poorest among us who suffer the most from its devastation.
How is there promise beyond this darkness? Isaiah spoke of how even the desert will rejoice and blossom (Isaiah 35:1-2). Paul pointed to a future day of freedom for creation from its bondage to decay (Romans 8:18-21). And when Jesus's disciples were cowered in the darkness of their fear upon the sea. Jesus would shout out to the wind and waves. "Be silent! Be still!" The disciples would marvel at Christ's powerful grace and exclaim, "Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?" (Mark 4:39-41). Later, they would follow Jesus's commission to "proclaim the good news to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15). Christ's light of joy enters also this darkness of creation so that the earth may lift up its joyful sound.
Lord, your light of joy illumines not only us but the very soil from which we were created. May we join with earth and sky in resounding joy for the whole of creation. Amen.