Third Advent: Joy


Monday morning I woke up to a powerful bright light in our bedroom and the voices of Rianne and our kids singing happy birthday songs to me! They still claim it was our normal bedroom light, but I’m convinced they brought a floodlight from the nearest construction site as a last attempt to finally wake me up.

While we’re at it: thanks all for the birthday wishes!

I do love a good party, but that’s not the only way to rejoice.

What are those simple joys in life, the kind that genuinely put that smile on your face, and a deep sense of contentment in your heart?

“Hail Mary,” isn’t generally what comes to mind when speaking of simple joy. Another version of this greeting in the book of Luke would be: “Greetings favoured one!” (ESV)

Mary was ‘greatly troubled’ and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting.

I never spent much time thinking about this particular greeting, and the meaning of this greeting until it was highlighted to me earlier this week.

A few days ago I had the privilege to be in a Zoom call with Tom De Vries, CEO & President of the Global Leadership Network who pointed out a deeper meaning behind the word ‘hail’ in this particular verse.

Another way to read the word ‘hail,’ is ‘rejoice.’ 

Mary was still trying to figure out what was the meaning of this greeting, and so could we.

When was the last time you were ‘greatly troubled’ at trying to find a reason to rejoice?

The same word is used in Greek when Paul wrote to the disciples of Jesus in Philippi: ‘rejoice – ALWAYS!’

Paul then continues to give some very practical advice as to how to do this:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

–The Apostle Paul in Philippians 4 (ESV)

What do you do throughout the day to think about the things that may not make you blow up your speakers, switch on the disco lights and dance around your living room, but the small things in life that just simply put a smile on your face?

Think about these things.

Even when greatly troubled.

You’re in good company.

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