December 4: Blessed Joy!
December 4, 2015
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
by Josh Moody Each year our family has a tradition of opening one Advent Bible reading starting on December 1 and finishing on Christmas Day, December 25. This year I am sharing those Bible readings with some thoughts based on them for use as a devotional during this season. Luke 1:39-45:
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!’Not being slow to test the truth of which she had believed, Mary hurries off to find Elizabeth. She had some pretty exciting news to tell her! Two mothers with two extraordinary babies, one more extraordinary than ever before or again. Elizabeth hears Mary’s excited shout of greeting, and the baby inside her leaps for joy. Never having been pregnant myself, it is hard for me to imagine what that must have been like for Elizabeth. I do remember one of our children’s little fists suddenly moving across the wall of the womb in such a way that you could see the hand from outside. What would it be like for a baby to “leap” for joy? Pretty extraordinary. But not only is the future John the Baptist leaping for joy, Elizabeth is also filled with the Holy Spirit. Her filling with the Holy Spirit results in a prophetic exclamation which centers on a triple blessing:
- Blessed is Mary!
- Blessed is the child!
- Blessed is the one who, like Mary did, believes God’s promises!
Joy to the world! The Lord is come Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room… No more let sins and sorrows grow Nor thorns infest the ground He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found…
“Joy to the World” by Isaac Watts]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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