Joy to the world
… “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…”
Luke 1:46-47 (NIV)
I find the beginning of the biblical books of Matthew, Luke and John very exciting. Knowing that the Messiah was coming, there is such anticipation in the accounts leading up to his birth. We get a glimpse into the emotions of the characters involved as they come to terms with what God is doing in their lives and they plan for what is about to happen.
One such incident of this is Mary’s prayer, as recorded in the first chapter of Luke. It’s almost as if this song of praise pours out uncontrollably, and Mary can do nothing other than exclaim the glories of God and how blessed she feels to be an instrument in his work. The nation of Israel had gone through hundreds of years of difficult times, and the people were expecting a Messiah to deliver them; Mary realised that she would be a part of this coming to fruition. She knew there would be problems due to her being a young unmarried woman in that culture, and being from a poor family, yet she didn’t allow these potential physical problems to get in the way of her praise for God at what he was doing in her life.
How about us? As we ponder what God has done for us, and how he has chosen to use us in his plan of salvation, does praise naturally flow from us? Are we filled with so much joy that others can’t help but recognise God’s presence and blessings in our lives? Your present situation may be challenging, but we know God is faithful to fulfil his promises toward us. We know he is with us now, and we know he will work all things for good in our lives. So, we may look to the future and see potential difficulties and unanswered questions, but we also know a God who is far greater than anything we’re going through now or may go through in the future. Does this lead us to be people who are filled with joy and praise in all circumstances?
We’re currently halfway through the Advent season, halfway through our time of celebrating both Jesus being born into this world to save us from our sins, and Jesus coming again to put everything right and establish the fullness of his Kingdom throughout the world. Both of these comings of Jesus give us cause for joy, celebration, and praise. No matter what we’re going through, we can express the sentiments of Mary, knowing God’s amazing love, his concern for us, and the wonderful blessings he will pour upon us.
Father, thank you for what you have done in sending your Son, Jesus, into this world. Thank you that we are saved through his life, death, resurrection and ascension. Thank you that he is coming again to rule in love. In Jesus’ name we pray with great joy. Amen.
Study by Anthony Dady
Those of you who like your dance music might like to hear Candi Staton’s latest song “Hallelujah Anyway” (Candi Staton – Hallelujah Anyway (DJ Matheus Lazaretti REMIX) (Lyric Vídeo) – YouTube). This song sums up some of what I’ve written here.
About the writer:
Anthony Dady is a minister in Grace Communion International and is the Regional Pastor for Wales, the Midlands, and Northern England.
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