Our Joy is Found In God’s Care for Us

A Reflection on Luke 1:46-55

The theologian Henri Nouwen described the difference between joy and happiness. While happiness is dependent on external conditions, joy is “the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing – sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death – can take that love away.”

This year has been a bumpy ride for many of us. We have had friends and family pass away, get sick, and suffer any number of ailments. Unemployment and job losses have been massive. Many things in which we found security has broken down or disappeared altogether. Even our worship has been altered from its “normal” conditions. Anxiety and fear in our community are at high levels, and many regards this past year as one of the hardest years they have had to endure.

This year, especially, we must understand that the news Mary received was GOOD NEWS; she was carrying Emmanuel, the Savior of the world, God incarnate. However, this was not going to be easy, as, with this great task, she would also face ridicule and possible ostracization because she was young, unmarried, and pregnant. If not for God’s comfort, this may have been a task too great for a mere mortal. Similarly, without God’s comfort and joy, this year may be too much for us.

However, God reminds us to respond with JOY because we have received JOY and HOPE in the GOOD NEWS that Mary brought into the world the Prince of Peace that would outshine the darkness. Especially in 2020, we must respond to our circumstances with JOY, and praise, just as Mary did more than 2000 years ago.

Published by JRMITCH85

I am often asked what describes you, which is a hard answer because sometimes I move in a thousand different directions. Some call me an engineer, others call me pastor, a few call me captain, some call me friend, others call me dad, and one calls me sweetheart. All of these things are descriptors and are accurate, but they don't fully capture me. My favorite place is in the mountains, enjoying the beauty of nature and God's creation, running and hiking around with my family and friends, and taking photos to cement the memories. However, the people that know me the best know that my favorite thing to do is come up with crazy adventures that push the limits of what our minds and bodies can do. My faith in God is important to me and drives me to look at creation the way I do. Because of my faith, I look at these adventures and running races from Half Marathons all the way to 50-mile races, as well as several Obstacle Course Races, as an opportunity to push the body God gave me as an act of worship. Hopefully, someday soon, I look toward running longer races and bigger adventures. My hope is that humanity can understand that the wild is a gift, and we need to care for it and quit destroying it by the way we live.

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