Devotional Passage: Luke 1:39-45
There’s a feeling among people who don’t believe in God that Christianity is a “no fun club.” They look at Christianity as nothing but a bunch of rules to follow. Maybe you know people like this. They don’t know God. And what keeps them from being open to it is a fear that God is nothing but a big wet blanket. The only issue with this is that joy is a huge part of what it means to be a Christ-follower.
The Bible is bursting with examples of happiness and joy flowing from God, and flowing from within those who follow Him. One of these examples is found in the awesome exchange between Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. Read Luke 1:39-45 as we pick up with these two women we were introduced to a few days ago.
Mary somehow caught wind of her cousin Elizabeth’s news. Maybe the Lord gave Mary some insight to the other miraculous pregnancy in the works. Maybe Mary heard it through the family tree that Elizabeth was expecting in her old age. Whatever the case, Mary made a trip to see Elizabeth. What happens upon their seeing one another is an epic reunion. The two women greet each other with re-markable emotion. But the source of the emotion is where you’ll focus your attention today.
Verse 42 shows us Elizabeth’s reaction upon seeing Mary. Elizabeth “exclaims” with a “loud cry” that she is super-pumped to see her cousin. But look back to verse 41 at the source of this joy and celebration. The Holy Spirit filled Elizabeth! He was the source of her excitement. God empowered the happiness Elizabeth felt.
If we’re not careful, we can view God in the same way that outsiders sometimes do. And yet God is the creator of all of our emotions. Happiness, joy, excitement, surprise, laughter . . . all of these originate with God. God takes joy in our joy. And if you take one thing from this book, let it be that your heart is to be JOYFUL this Christmas season. There is much to celebrate! Open your eyes. Take-in the moment. And allow the Holy Spirit to give birth to the joy within you at the birth of the King.
Think about this:
• What about the Christmas season brings you joy? What makes you smile?
• Is there a particular Christmas song that makes you happy? Take the time to listen to it today (or if you’re brave, sing it right now), and thank God for giving us the ability to experience joy and happiness.