Joy at Christmas | City Bible Forum
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Joy at Christmas

Tue 14 Dec 2021
Have you found your joy this year
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Joy at Christmas

The Gospel of Luke begins with the angel Gabriel appearing to two people promising the coming of two miraculous babies to two unlikely women. The angel promises that an old woman and a virgin would both bear children. The old woman, Elizabeth, would bear a son who would prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. The young virgin, Mary, was told that she would bear the son of God.

As the narrative continues Elizabeth and Mary meet and when Mary arrives we read of the reaction she causes in Luke 1:41:

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth then exclaims in verses 43 and 44:

But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leapt for joy.

Elizabeth feels overwhelmed and full of joy that Mary would visit her.

I must confess I enjoy seeing footballers and famous people visiting sick kids in hospital. It’s wonderful to see the reactions of kids when they see people they love and adore. In fact, there’s an organisation called JuicedTV which arranges online visits of celebrities such as Margo Robbie or Chris Hemsworth, for kids in hospitals.

It’s been described as a way of bringing joy to sick kids In Hospital. Indeed, the founder of Juiced TV, Pip Forbes says

“When we see a child connect with their ultimate idol for the first time on the screen, you can see the colour drain from their face and there’s a, ‘I can’t believe this is really happening moment’. Parents will say that it’s the first time they’ve seen their child smile in a week.”

A connection with the child’s ‘ultimate idol’ leads to joy.

So we can appreciate Elizabeth’s reaction - and how much more joy from a visit from the mother of the Son of God? The woman who bears a child who will save his people and bring salvation. Not just some celebrity on a screen saying ‘I am Thor, son of Odin’, but the joy to know that the hope and salvation of Israel, and indeed the whole world, had arrived and was in your very presence.

So as Christmas approaches let us pause and reflect on the joy that this season brings. The joy that our sins can be forgiven, the joy that we can have peace with God and with each other, the joy that our lives are not meaningless and pointless, the joy that there is hope even at the end of a tiring and exhausting year:

Joy to the World, the Lord is come.

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for the joy of this season and the reminder that Jesus came into our world to bring forgiveness, peace and hope. May we continue to be joyful at the coming of our Lord. Amen

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