An Advent of Hope, Peace, Love, & Joy: Volume 3

Joy: December 14- 20, 2020

This devotional contains reflections, artwork, and prayers for a portion of the Advent season created by the members and friends of Church of the Holy Cross UCC in Hilo, Hawai’i. Advent is a season of preparation and of expectation, an awareness of what has already happened and what is still to come. May these devotional offerings help you find the hope, peace, joy, and love of God within your soul.

Monday, December 14

Psalm 46:1
Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy.

JOY is a feeling of great happiness which over comes one’s whole being. There have been many occasions in my life where joy has prevailed, but the one thing I remember most often is when we were visiting our grandchildren in California. Alex, maybe about 5 years old, was my shadow! We played games, read stories, went for walks, played outdoors, and of course, I kept him well fed! Every day I would hear him calling, “Grammy, where are you?” I would hear his footsteps as he looked for me!

He wanted to be with me – what a blessing! What Joy!

Anne Sadayasu

Tuesday, December 15

Emi Kobayashi, age 6

Wednesday, December 16

I grew up in a plantation camp, way up in the foothills of Mauna Kea – surrounded by tall canefields.

Yes, we had dolls – those cute pink “cupid” plastic naked dolls you dare not squeeze or you’ll leave indentations all over.

I can’t recall, but I must’ve excelled in something, because my uncle, who lived in the next village over, heart about it, came with a beautifully wrapped box for me.

I tore open and out came a beautiful blonde, blue-eyed “Mama-Mama” doll, who “blinked” at me! A doll that cries “Mama-Mama” and “blinks” at you! Oh, my! What JOY! I’ll not forget.

Amy Shiroma

Thursday, December 17

Joy is the green shoot emerging from the rock.


Friday, December 18

2 Samuel 6:14-15
David danced before the LORD with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

This scene of national celebration is… somewhat deceptive. The “ark of the LORD” – the chest Moses had built to contain the stone tablets carved by God – had been stolen, held for ransom, caused accidents, blessed people (um, the wrong people), and generally puzzled the people of Israel. Some of David’s vigorous dancing may have been a prayer to God along the lines of: “Please don’t let anything bad happen this time.”

Joy rarely comes unmixed with other feelings or sensations. Every time I greet my children, I feel a tiny twinge about the way they are not children any more. I wouldn’t exchange them for their younger selves for an instant, but the feeling will persist.

Unlike happiness, joy can live with the mixed feelings. It is more robust than happiness, which cracks all too easily at the unexpected or unwanted. Joy has deeper roots. It rises to greater heights.


With all the feelings, O God, we raise our joy to you. We rejoice in our gladness. We rejoice in our sorrow. We rejoice in your presence – which is always. Amen.


Saturday, December 19

                Feel JOY in your heart
                Find JOY in every moment
                Freely share this gift

Haiku by Carol Morioka

Sunday, December 20: Love

Luke 1:28
And [the angel Gabriel] came to [Mary] and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

Angels are apparently intimidating to behold. In nearly every Biblical description of their encounters with human beings, their first words are some variant on, “Do not be afraid” (which Gabriel will tell Mary in verse 30). Here in Luke 1, however, Gabriel the messenger has to say something else first, even before the angelic reassurance.

“The Lord is with you.”

Before bolstering her courage, before announcing the advent of Christ, before reassuring her that nothing is impossible with God, Gabriel told Mary that the Lord was with her.

And that is love, isn’t it? Love is presence. Love is fidelity. Love is honesty. Love is faith.

That is the first word not just to Mary, but to all of us: “The Lord is with you.”

God loves you.


Let it be for us according to your word, O God: be with us. Love us. Amen.


Church of the Holy Cross
United Church of Christ
440 W. Lanikaula St.
Hilo, HI 96720

Advent 2020

Faces in the stop-start motion of a screen
each day reveal the way that Space can fold.
It bends to bring a grainy visage close
though miles and oceans lie between.

By eyes immortalized in oiled canvas,
out-of-focus photographs, vintage films,
and now a Sunday worship prayed on Wednesday,
no longer do we hold our Time inflexible.

So, Time and Space, elastic as you are,
we seek your folds and curves along these weeks
to bring us to the stable, to the birth;
to bring us to the Advent of your Christ on Earth.

Categories Community, Events | Tags: | Posted on December 15, 2020

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