Today, on this third Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of JOY.

The first week, we lit the candle of Hope.  The second week, we lit the candle of Peace.

Today, we rejoice with Mary at this amazing thing God has done.

Oh JOY!

 

Light the Candle of Joy ::  Joy Day! :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Though we know that Mary was a very young woman about 13 years old, she had an amazing understanding of scripture and the times in which she lived.  She was carrying the Messiah, the one who to bring freedom to the captives.  No doubt she was a little scared.  Yet, she was filled with great joy.

I enjoy reading a translation of the Bible called The Voice.  Some of the passages in The Voice translation contain an explanation that gives rich meaning to the text.  I’ve included it below as a preface to the verses following, because it is so very helpful.  I know it is a bit long…but I do think you’ll enjoy the text.

This portion of scripture from Luke 1 is referred to as The Magnificat.

Mary is deeply moved by these amazing encounters—first with the messenger
and then with her cousin, Elizabeth. Mary’s response can’t be contained in normal
prose; her noble soul overflows in poetry. And this poetry isn’t simply religious;
it has powerful social and political overtones. It speaks of a great reversal—what
might be called a social, economic, and political revolution. To people in Mary’s day,
there is little question as to what she is talking about. The Jewish people are oppressed
by the Roman Empire, and to speak of a King who will demote the powerful and rich
and elevate the poor and humble means one thing: God is moving toward setting them
free! Soon Zacharias will overflow in poetry of his own.

46 Mary: My soul lifts up the Lord!
47     My spirit celebrates God, my Liberator!
48     For though I’m God’s humble servant,
God has noticed me.
Now and forever,
I will be considered blessed by all generations.
49     For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
holy is God’s name!
50     From generation to generation,
God’s lovingkindness endures
for those who revere Him.

51     God’s arm has accomplished mighty deeds.
The proud in mind and heart,
God has sent away in disarray.
52     The rulers from their high positions of power,
God has brought down low.
And those who were humble and lowly,
God has elevated with dignity.
53     The hungry—God has filled with fine food.
The rich—God has dismissed with nothing in their hands.
54     To Israel, God’s servant,
God has given help,
55     As promised to our ancestors,
remembering Abraham and his descendants in mercy forever.

Luke 1:46-55 The Voice (VOICE)

It’s hard to even imagine what it must have been like to have been in Mary’s sandals….
or Joseph’s for that matter.  What most intrigues me is their complete devotion to God.  Their willingness to put self aside…completely.

Maybe Mary did a fair amount of hand wringing….  What was she going to do?  Who could she tell?  What would people think? Here she is looking forward to a wedding and her Joseph….this certainly wasn’t what she had planned was it?

How do you think she reacted?
Somehow, I think she was able to put aside all those normal reactions and praise the Lord with these incredible words we read in Luke 1.  

 

Mary saw herself as God’s servant.  Humble servant.

Sometimes I think that it is quite the opposite with us.  We see God as one who serves us. 

 

How often do we come to him and pray to get out of a jam?  We pray for stuff….not even things we need…stuff we want.  We ask him to order our world to suit ourselves.  We ask him to change our circumstances or bless us in some manner.  And sometimes we are even so benevolent that we ask him to do the same for someone else, too.

When I was a little girl, I heard people pray, “Lord, your will be done.”  Not-some-much these days.  

I know I am guilty of wanting my own way.  I’m tired of my current leg of the journey.  Frankly, some days it’s hard to tell God…”Whatever you want.”  Even when I know his way is always best. 

We may not be waiting to give birth to the Savior of the world.  But, we are waiting to see how he will use us and what he will do in us to impact the world and bring him glory. Yes?

As we light the candle of JOY,
let’s take JOY in the blessing and anticipation that Mary enjoyed,
let’s take JOY in God.
We too can sing these same words and mean them…

For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
        holy is God’s name!
From generation to generation,
        God’s lovingkindness endures
        for those who revere Him.

Can you sing those words?

For some reason this song I sang in church quite a few years ago came to mind.  It’s very worshipful.  But, even more, it’s not about us.  It’s about desiring to bring JOY to our Lord and King through the song of our hearts.

I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul rejoice

Take joy, my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet
Sweet sound in Your ear

excerpted from: I Love You Lord written by Laurie B. Klein

So where are you in all of this?

Do you share Mary’s JOY?

Or are you struggling to be a humble servant like Mary?

 

If you’re unfamiliar with the practice of observing Advent during the four weeks leading up to Christmas, I shared some ideas for observing Advent here.  And I created a not-so-typical-version of an Advent wreath here?

 

Joy Day! 12/15 :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Today is Joy Day!

 

The day when we take time to look back over our past week and count the gifts and blessings from the week.  I’m reminded that some gifts aren’t exactly pleasant…but because of them our character is developed.   In all things we are to give thanks.

Please join me in counting just ‘seven’ from the past week.

I’ll start…

God, I’m grateful:

  1. for being able to serve my friend and clean for her.
  2. for friends.  Praying, loving, faithful friends.
  3. the opportunity to hear TSO in concert, and the peace you gave me when we realized we had to decline the invitation.
  4. that though my camera has quit working, I have a friend who trusts me to use her camera/lens and even teach me how to use them.
  5. for an opportunity for Tim to work and his humble heart to take a job as a temp in a factory.*
  6. for no response on an immediate ministry position.  Your will be done.
  7. for Christmas and your plan, God, to give us liberty in Christ Jesus.

Now it’s YOUR turn!!

Join me in counting ‘seven.’  Scroll down to the comment section…Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts….and list your ‘seven.’  I guarantee your JOY meter will soar.

Want even more joy?  Take the Joy Dare here.

 

Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.

Joyfully,

Diane

*There is a bit of a hurdle in this.  The employment agency needs to be in compliance with federal immigration laws.  They have three days to verify a potential employee’s identification with a driver’s license and a Social Security card (or a passport…our expired a few years ago).  Our S.S. Cards are buried deep in one of our storage units, 2 states away.  However, the Social Security Administration has a website to verify Social Security numbers for employers when hard copies aren’t available.  The downside…the employment agency wants a hard copy, even though Tim shared this info with them.  [sigh]  This is a God-sized dilemma.  Hopefully a trip to a Social Security office on Monday can rectify this.  If not…then God must have something else in mind.  Thanks for your prayers.

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Sharing with these Extraordinary Spots:
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Comments

  1. What a wonderful post!

    May God’s will be done with Tim’s job. If this one doesn’t work out, there is something better out there for him.

    God works all things out.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. “waiting to see how he will use us and what he will do in us to impact the world and bring him glory”

    THAT line humbled me and created some inventory for me….. This is a good thing. I can get too big for my britches and forget that ‘WHOSE will?’ that I really do ask myself. Like that cute little JOY gift that I wanted to hang on to for me/myself/I. Really, Mel?! You need this? Yeah, notsomuch….and I truly do know someone who will adore and appreciate the reminder in antique gold.
    This season, you’d think the selfishness scale would be tipped in the opposite direction. *sigh* Seems it can sneak into the crack and crevices and detour us all.
    I think about the ancient promise presented to the Jewish Nation–and I marvel at a 13 year old’s task/blessing. That she could sing praise and stand true to her Maker under the circumstances oughta humble us all. Certainly does me….

    The joys for the week:
    * Discovering the selfishness in hanging on to a JOY that will be wrapped up for the giving TODAY, tyvm
    * Watching a 4 year old sing her heart out as she rocked the baby Jesus
    * Making smiley faces in snow every where I went
    * Purchasing a gift basket/gift card to be delivered anonymously to a struggling family
    * Staying silent, not getting snarky and paying the ‘odd change’ the person who budged in line left in their car
    * Watching the eagles fish
    * Knowing I’m prayed for and thought about by others……and being able to return that

    I’ll be humming “My G-d is an awesome G-d” all morning now–THAT’S a joyful thing as well.
    Mel recently posted..The Road Less TraveledMy Profile

    • Everytime I read that passage I am humbled as well, Mel. Obviously, she was well chosen. ;)

      Your “joys” bring me joy too!

      Oh Mel….HE is awesome!!! He is!!!!

  3. “Lord, please remember your servant, Tim, and his need for employment. Please show Yourself strong on his behalf. amen”

  4. Yes Diane I pray for work for you two that is ideal. And God knows. He knows what he is doing. I do not understand but its not for me tonknow. Just trust.
    Joy Day
    1. Chats with Mom
    2. Recovering
    3. My great nephew is enjoying playing with his felt tree I made him last year!
    4. My grandson has said Gampa for a year! But nothing for me. A week ago he called out, GraMom!! I guess that’s what I’ll be!
    5. My kind neighbor just called and will bring dinner for us tomorrow night!
    6. I felt blue, blah, a bit sorry for me and how its so different than my friends lives are but as I write, and praise, JOY emerges :-)
    7. Time to rest
    8. Prayers said for my husband suffering greatly and for me

    • Oh Gwen….isn’t it amazing how as we write and praise, it changes everything?
      We shall “Count it all JOY” as James says.
      I rejoice with you at the display of God’s goodness in your life this past week…and dinner tomorrow night. Yippee!!
      Will continue to keep you and Curt in my prayers….
      [[[[hugs]]]]

  5. Debbi Saunders says:

    I am grateful for:
    1. For still being in my home for the Holidays
    2. For Godly, loving friends
    3. For Lunch with one friend today and 3 others Tuesday and Wednesday to share time with each other before Christmas..
    4. For Sharing Christmas with my brother from Texas. We have not been together for Christmas for over 20 years!
    5. For seeing Christmas through the eyes of my first graders and all the activities planned for this week with them.
    6. That I received a small cost of living raise in my S.S.
    7. For a very generous monetary gift from my Uncle.
    As always will continue to pray for your job situations and that you soon will be in a home of your own.

    • Dear sweet friend…I rejoice with you at God’s goodness. How fun to be celebrating Christmas with friends…what a treasure. Glad you’re enjoying your home for the holidays…and I trust…next Christmas a well. ;) It looks like you can’t out give God! I’m thrilled with how he is blessing you so richly.
      [hugs]

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