Welcome to the third post in the ADORE Series: Outrageous Joy—
What comes to mind when you hear “Outrageous Joy”? Is it a loud memory or a quiet gentle one? Is it a memory of a time experienced with others or a personal moment? I have experienced joy in so many ways it is hard explain the source of my joy at times. Especially when tears accompany it. This week let’s take a moment to reflect on the “outrageous joy” that Mary carried within her as the mother of our Savior. She gives a brief glimpse of it in her song found in Luke 1: 46-56. I wonder what it was like for her knowing she was blessed to carry the Savior of the world but unable to share her miraculous experience outside of a very small circle of relatives for fear of ridicule and a possible sentence of death. Her life was marked by suffering, persecution, separation, and danger. She experienced brief highlights of honor, acceptance, delight, and peace which she pondered and treasured in her heart. What gave her the strength to continue? I suggest that, like Jesus, she endured all the circumstances of her life for the joy set before her (Hebrews 12:2:3)– the fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah and the message given by the angel, Gabriel. Her strength was born out of the presence of the Holy Spirit that released the power to create Jesus, God made man, and burst forth as “outrageous joy” that would sustain her and point her time and time again to “the joy set before her”. That same Holy Spirit that sustained Mary and Jesus while they walked the earth is alive in us. So no matter what we are facing now or in the future we need to tap into the strength of the “Outrageous Joy” only He can provide. I hope you will experience the “Outrageous Joy” of Christ this Christmas!
May I suggest starting with this Chris Tomlin song “Joy to the World(Unspeakable Joy)”? I personally think Mary’s joy is expressed well by the chorus lyrics—- “Joy, unspeakable joy. An overflowing well, no tongue can tell. Joy, unspeakable joy. Rises in my soul, never lets me go.” (check out the whole song on YouTube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC3SwhJsLqU&sns=em ) Be careful I have had this chorus in my head for about two weeks now it is very catchy!!!
As you read the joyful Psalm below reflect on the birth of our Savior and the “outrageous joy” His birth brought into our world for us each to experience.
“ Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
How will you keep his “outrageous joy” alive in your heart this week and all yearlong?
Who can you tell about the “outrageous joy” of Christ’s birth?
Leave a comment to let me know what brings you “outrageous joy”!
Prayer of Adoration: We come to you, Lord, with thanksgiving in our hearts and your “unspeakable joy” in our souls for all the ways that you love us. Your expression of love is deep and never ending. Your outrageous gift of salvation through your Son our Savior leaves us in awe of you. We ask that you the God of hope will fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in you so that we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit(Romans 15:13). We love you, Lord, even though we have not seen you. We believe in you and know that you are the one who fills us with an inexpressible and glorious joy-— the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls(1Peter 1: 8-9). Just as you filled Mary’s heart and soul with “unspeakable joy” as she carried our Savior and released Him for your glory. May you be glorified this Christmas season as we seek to live joyful lives in reflection of your gift of eternal life! Please strengthen us as we fix our eyes on you, Jesus, and run the race you have set before us. We want to live like you did enduring the things of this life for the joy set before us. Help us to not grow weary and lose heart(Hebrews 12: 1-3) but to consider it all joy that we will be made complete in you.(James 1:2-8)
In your holy name, Jesus– Amen
Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always