JOY

As the week of Christmas is upon us and all of the fog of the week is creeping up let’s not get carried away and lose sight of what truly matters.

We have been reading the Christmas story in the Bible and today we read Luke 1: 46-49.

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.

It is so important to read about Jesus and the Christmas story at all times of the year, but especially at this time of year. As kids, our parents read it to us every Christmas Eve. It’s one of my favorite memories from Christmas’ past. I hope to continue doing this in our family.

From this passage we read that Mary was delighted to have been given the task of carrying Christ. She was young and I’m pretty sure I would not have been so thrilled to find out the revelation that I was pregnant. Actually, I KNOW I wouldn’t have been thrilled. She wasn’t given a small task, neither was Joseph. What they did was incredible and we do continue to call Mary blessed, just as the passage reads.

This morning our pastor said something I hadn’t heard before:

” Mary was chosen to carry Jesus and deliver him to the world….and so were you.” Now this isn’t meant in a weird way at all. Mary literally carried Jesus in her womb. That is not something that anyone will be tasked with again. We are given the task to carry Jesus with us in our hearts every day and carry His good news to everyone we meet. Are you sharing Christ? This doesn’t mean you can’t have a “normal” conversation with someone or that you can’t just ask how someone’s day is, but are you different? When you leave a conversation do you make someone ask the question, “what is different about them?” “What do they have that I don’t?” or “I am so happy to have a friend that points me to Christ.”

In light of this season I encourage you to ask yourself, ” am I being Jesus to others?” “Am I showing God in all that I do?” “Am I encouraging others to look to Christ?” You will not live a perfect life and that is OK. But are you striving to do these things? Are you striving to be who God has called you to be?

This week:

BE PRESENT: Be present with friends and family. Be aware of what you are doing, I mean, don’t sit on your phone. Enjoy the face-to-face time you are getting to have with others.

BE JOYFUL: Be the person that others want to spend time around. Be happy and joyful no matter what situation is surrounding you.

BE COMPASSIONATE: Not everyone gets to spend time with friends or family. Not everyone has the luxury of having family around or friends close by. Be kind to people that may be going through something that you have no idea about. Be compassionate and be kind to people everywhere you go. Be just as Jesus would be.

BE AWARE: Look out for people that need help. Whether its a smile, a little money to help pay for something at the grocery store, an invite to dinner, etc. Be aware of the people around you and be ready to take action.

BE FLEXIBLE: If you can be flexible, do it. The holidays are difficult and sometimes getting everyone together is hard. Be flexible if you can and don’t cause more issues than needed.

BREATHE: Take a breather if you need to. Sometimes being around certain people can be a lot. Even when you are trying to be kind and compassionate it can take its toll. Disappear for a minute to give yourself a break. Sometimes it’s just needed.

Have a very merry Christmas everyone! I will be taking the week off to spend time with family and friends. Tonight will be my last post on the blog and on instagram so that I can soak up all the fun. All the siblings will be home for Christmas this year and I don’t want to feel that I have to be on my phone or doing something specific. I hope you are all able to take a much needed break from social media and are able to enjoy the season with your loved ones.

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