Will “Joy to the World” Bring Joy to You?

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©Heidi Bratton Photography

“Joy to the World…” You have and will hear this phrase many times during the Christmas season. Often, people translate that into what God has done for the world. That is true. But, what about you?

When the Angel Gabriel came to Mary to announce that Mary had been chosen by God to be the Mother of His Son, it had to be overwhelming. Did she feel joy? Not at first! According to the Scriptures, she felt confusion – maybe even anxiety. Mary was a human being. God’s grace, however, overcomes our human frailties. By the time Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, her outlook was one of confident joy.

And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.

He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. 

He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.

He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever” (Luke 1:46-55).

You and I know this as the Magnificat the beautiful expression of Mary’s desire to give glory to God for all he had done.

This is not just a Christmas piece of Scripture. I invite you to give yourself, and God, a special Christmas present this year. Take some time each day to sit and read this out loud to yourself. Pretend you are talking to someone likeElizabeth. Make adjustments if you are male and change “handmaid” to “servant.”

Meditate on all that God has done for you that is described in the Magnificat. If you do this for the rest of the Christmas season, you will be a changed person. Your self-image will be edified and you will see yourself, more fully, as the child of God you are. Remember that Matthew describes the linage of Jesus from Abraham on, while Luke traces it all the way back to Adam, son of God.

Mary showed her humility by saying yes to God’s angel. You can show your humility by saying yes to Jesus.

In doing so, you will not only experience joy to the world, you will experience deeper joy in your world.

Merry Christmas.


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