O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheerOur spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

There have been many gloomy clouds in this past year and entire months that have been covered by darker shadows than I had ever imagined. And many times when I felt that joy and rejoicing might never come my way again. There will be more of those times with out a doubt, but last night as I watched the glowing candle of Joy reflect in the shining eyes of my daughter while we sang the above words, I knew that Joy has not left us.  As we move through this week of advent that is distinctly painful and gloriously beautiful at the same time, there is a chorus of Rejoice, Rejoice rising.