When we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, we may expect to be happy during the festive season, all the time, (although we are told that many people struggle with severe depression during the festive time).
But happiness is not the same as joy. One can experience the joy of the Lord even when circumstances are not particularly “happy”.
We may rejoice in all situations. Even when we are under threat, we are concerned, or we are dissatisfied. Because JOY comes from the knowledge that we are within the will of God and it comes from the certain faith knowledge that God cares about us and takes care of us.
During this season we remember that God gave his only Son – because he cares and that he will never leave or forsake us. We know that when Jesus returns, he will be with us for all eternity and ou joy in the LORD will be never-ending.
When Mary was told that she expected the Saviour, she feared. She was afraid of the holy angel that came to see her. And she was afraid of his message. To be pregnant and not married carried the death penalty for an unmarried girl, in those days. She could at least lose her fiancé who knew he was not the dad of the Baby! She ran at least the risk of rejection by family and of the community.
This is not a particular happy picture!
And yet – there is all the indications that the young virgin Mary rejoiced and was filled with joy. She was to be within the will of God! She was to do the most important work one can do for God. She also believed that nothing is impossible with God!
This is why, in spite of everything risky and dangerous her calling to carry the Christ Child entailed, she could break out in song and dance to express a deep felt joy.
According to Luke, this is what she sang as she rejoiced: Luke 1: 46 - 55:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
for he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation....
May God grant you this JOY through his Holy Spirit.
Whatever your circumstances!
May you find God’s will for your life and the firm assurance of his divine protection and love.