The Candle of Joy
This holiday season is designated the “season of joy.” We sing carols calling us to rejoice because Emmanuel has come, proclaiming that joy has descended on the earth with the newborn King, and exhorting all good Christian men to rejoice. Joy fills our Christmas carols - and rightfully so. This was a joyous event. Mary’s spirit rejoices in all that is taking place in Luke 1:47; the angel describe the birth as a proclamation of Good News in Luke 2:10; the shepherds leave the manger scene rejoicing and glorifying God in Luke 2:20; and the wise men are filled with joy when the star leads them directly to the newborn King in Matthew 2:10. Joy is an appropriate word to be sprinkled throughout the holidays.
Why joy rightfully peppers the Christmas season relates to all that was taking place. In Jesus’ birth, God’s faithfulness was being proved. In Jesus’ birth, God’s promises were being fulfilled. And in Jesus’ life, God’s love was being put on display. When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, all the pieces of the puzzle fell together as Jesus leapt for joy in her womb. Her subsequent response was singular: joy. She exclaimed, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoiced in God my Savior.”
So will be our response—if we truly grasp all that was wrapped up in the birth of Jesus. This newborn King was a gift—a gift of love; a gift of faithfulness; a gift of fulfillment; a gift of salvation. When we get that, then our souls will resonate with Mary’s. We will exclaim, “How great our joy!”