Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

And My Spirit Rejoices

Luke 1:47

…and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

Sunday we preached a message about keeping Christ in Christmas. It will be posted here soon – so take a listen. Sunday we talked about the joy that Jesus brought to the people. Luke 2:10–11 – 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Jesus’ arrival was to bring great joy to the people – and not only to His people but to all who would hear and follow Him. Jesus was the Messiah – the Anointed One – the Deliverer – the One who would break the bonds of oppression for His people. Never before or since has the birth of a baby been so anticipated or sought after. Jesus’ birth was to bring great and lasting joy.

What brings us joy today? What is it that makes us rejoice? If you’re a local sports fan – maybe the way the Baltimore Ravens won Sunday – in convincing fashion – brought you joy. Maybe the way the men’s Maryland basketball team hung in there and won after seemingly losing the game brought you joy. Unfortunately – these experiences are more like temporal happiness rather the lasting joy (they come and go – just wait till the next game – we might not be as joyous/happy afterward). One of my favorite sayings is – Happiness is circumstantially driven while Joy is spiritually derived. In other words – those games only brought us temporary happiness – not true joy.

Jesus’ mother – Mary – had real joy when she was told about the Messiah – her child. Here is Mary’s response to the news of the birth of the Christ child – her baby boy. Luke 1:46–55 – 46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

This Christmas season – enjoy the happy moments that a Bowl Game win or a playoff run or a gift here or there might bring – but also seek out a deeper relationship with Jesus and experience the joy that He brings. His joy is lasting and will stay with us a lot longer than any temporal happiness.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way!

P.S. Remember what I always say about Christmas – don’t go into debt for Christmas!

December 4, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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