Since we are approaching the celebration of the birth of Jesus, I will be basing my devotions on the Gospel of Luke. “And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! ... For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy." (Luke 1:41b-42, 44)
No doubt Mary had a lot of things to do: talk to her parents about her pregnancy (scary), tell Joseph (scarier). It would have been so easy to let these things fill up her mind, take over her planning, lead to sleepless nights and worry-filled days. After all, that's what happens to us, doesn't it? The future reaches into our present and overwhelms us.
But it doesn't have to be this way. In the Christmas story, before the suffering, came the joy.
Look at the shining happiness Mary and Elizabeth shared! No sooner did Mary get the good news than she rushed off to see her relative. No sooner did Elizabeth hear her voice than she exclaimed with joy, "Why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:43) Even baby John jumped within his mother's womb. Future woes were put aside. Now was the time to celebrate and be glad at what the Lord had done.
And God calls us to this in our lives today, too. Oh, we have long to-do lists, and much of what we do is critical: caring for sick relatives, working for a living, dealing with family upset, tending to financial problems. But in the middle of all this, God says, "Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" (Isaiah 43:19a) God is sending Jesus to us—His own Son, born a human baby, born to save us all. God is doing this because He loves us—us, not the faceless mass of humanity, but you and me. And God is making us His children through Jesus who suffered, died, and rose again to give us life.
This is the thing the Lord has done; let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Please pray with me: Dearest Lord, help me to pause and rejoice in how much You love me. Amen.