Advent: Week Three

Jesus, Our Joy

This year, the Lord has faithfully been giving me the opportunity to walk out each of the Advent points, making the season so much more meaningful. The first week, I was reminded to place all of my hope in Jesus regardless of how I felt. Last week I was welcomed to accept the peace of Christ even while paying the bills. This week I get to choose to celebrate the joy of Jesus while the family van sits in the shop with a possible bad fuel pump.
I am not the first woman to have a choice to make in the area of joy. When Gabriel approached Mary and announced the grand plan to use her to bring the Savior of all mankind into the world, Mary had to make a choice. She was initially troubled by Gabriel’s odd greeting. (Luke 1:28) She then questioned the logistics of the whole thing. Mary obviously understood what it took to conceive a baby and was well aware that she did not at all meet the requirements. Once again, Gabriel (who was quickly proving himself the most astute, sensitive male to walk the planet other than Jesus) reassured her. (Luke 1:35) He not only explained things thoroughly, he also let her know she was not alone in the “Surprise! You’re having an impossible pregnancy,” department. (Luke 1:36)
Mary could have completely wigged out; she chose the high road instead, answering, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
In the face of possible rejection by her family, betrothed, and community, Mary chose to react with joy. She looked at the potentially overwhelming and embarrassing situation with the eyes of one who knew her God intimately. Her knowledge of Him is evident in her famous Magnificat. (Luke 1:46-55) She told of the Lord’s love for her – He watched and regarded her before choosing her as His Son’s mother. She knew He had her very best interest at heart. She declared that He was mighty and full of the strength she needed to walk out His plan. That knowledge enabled Mary to have the joy she did when faced with such an amazing life altering situation.
I am pretty sure that if a young teenage virgin can choose the joy of the Lord for an unplanned pregnancy in a culture that stoned women in those situations, then I am capable of choosing joy when our vehicle breaks down right before Christmas. Just typing that sentence makes me feel small and peevish for even considering anything other than a joyful reaction.
What situations are you facing that give an opportunity to choose joy or discontentment? Choose the joy that comes from a close relationship with the Savior of the world. His joy makes all things possible to bear.
Father, I am happy to know that my joy does not need to be dependent on my circumstances. It is dependent on You, the Giver of true joy. Thank You for sending Jesus, the Joy of man’s desire. Amen.
Advent – Week Three:
Theme: Joy
Scriptures to read:
Sunday: Luke 1:5-13
Monday: Luke 1:14-17
Tuesday: Luke 1:18-25
Wednesday: Luke 1:39-45
Thursday: Luke 1:46-56
Friday: Luke 1:57-66
Saturday: Luke 1:67-80
Jen Gorton (2009)