Welcome to the third week of Advent!
This week’s theme is joy. The celebration of Christmas is just around the corner. Ironically, this month and next typically set the record for the year in terms of prescriptions for medicines treating depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness (and I don’t mean children on Christmas Eve). I think we have forgotten about the joy of the season.
What is the joy of this season?
46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.”
Luke 1:46-55, NIV
This passage is known as “Mary’s Song of Praise” or the Magnificat. Have you ever stopped and imagined the situation she was in when she was declaring this?
Strong possibility of her engagement (to use our terms) being canceled (divorce in their way of thinking).
She could even be stoned (and I don’t mean Egg Nog).
Yet, for all that…“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (verses 46-47). I guess it’s really true: Mary really was the first one to carry the Gospel! She understood the Good News of Jesus in her womb long before He was ever born.
She rejoiced in the goodness of God. Look at why…
He is merciful to those who revere Him (verse 50).
He has performed miracles (verse 51a).
He has humbled the proud (verse 51b-52).
The poor in spirit have been filled (verse 53).
He has kept His word of promise (verse 54-55)
Do you find that kind of joy in your situation?
Let’s personalize Mary’s praise of the Lord:
How has the Lord been merciful to you?
What miracles has He performed for you?
How has He humbled either you or someone else who was prideful?
In what ways has He filled your spirit?
When was the last time you counted your blessings?
We have every reason to be joyful, my dear readers. The issue is whether we will choose to see them. May our Lord bless you with the joy found only in Him this season.
Want more like this? Consider my book: 31 Days of Spiritual Wisdom: A Month in the Proverbs. It makes a great gift or stocking stuffer.
“Life Meets Theology” will return to its normal Wednesday morning distribution on January 3.