Third Week of Advent: Joy
Monday, December 12, 2011
LIVING IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR LORD
Christians call this period just before Christmas the Season of Advent. It is a special time each year for reflection on and preparation for the birth of our Lord Jesus some two thousand years ago. We dream, pray, write (as here), feast, fast, and reflect on that long ago event. We try to imagine what that day of his birth might have been like in that arid Middle Eastern land and what it means for us today here in the rolling hills of Central Kentucky.
For Elizabeth, Mary’s kinswoman, it was going to be a blessed event for Mary and for her people, Israel, because they were to be a special part of God’s plan as revealed to them by the Holy Spirit and the Angels. For Mary, having been visited by the Angel Gabriel, it was to be the fulfillment of God’s promise to her that she would be the mother of the Messiah, Israel’s Savior. Full of the Holy Spirit herself, Mary sang that song that has been so revered by Christians down through the centuries beginning, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,...” (Luke 1:46-55). Her son would be our Savior; He would do great things for us; He would have mercy on us when we faltered: He would strengthen us where we were weak; He would heal us when we were sick; He would protect us from our enemies; He would be our companion in dark times; and He would feed us when we were hungry.
Indeed, Zechariah’s prophecy has become our reality, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them...” (Luke 1:68). Redemption is such inexpressible joy! Thank you, Father God, for your Son, Jesus, whom we celebrate during this special Season of Advent! May each of you be blessed and give blessings every day of your life! Amen.