Marys Song of Joy
The Hoy of the Lord is Our Strength
Luke 1:46b-55; Isaiah 35:1-6, 10
Rev. Elizbeth Aguilar
Community Congregational Church of Chula Vista, UCC
We love Mary, dont we? We love her obedience, her pondering everything in her heart, her faithfulness to God and to Joseph .But I love her bravery, too. I hope you all heard or read Marys words very carefully.
Now, I am not sure if I were her if the first thing I would do after hearing that I am going to give birth to a baby although I am not wed- is to break out in this song.
But why? Why was Mary about to do so? Because she knew that her strength came from the joy of the Lord.
And thats what I want us to focus on today. That OUR Strength comes from the Joy of the Lord.
This is the third Sunday in Advent and we Are focusing on Joy. But as I reflected on it, it dawned on me how important it is that we not focus on joy as merely a feeling but on it being a gift that comes from God, that MOVES us beyond a feeling.
You see, when we FOCUS on Jesus, who IS the source of our joy, the circumstances in our life- no matter how hard they are, do not overwhelm us.
Does God want us sad, consumed with worry, or anxiety? No.
Think about it- had Mary focused on her circumstances she might as well have broken out in a loud cry instead of a song. For a woman to be unwed and pregnant meant that her fiancé would have had to break up with her and she could have been stoned to death- that was the severe punishment for a woman in that predicament.
So, had Mary been focused on her situation of being an unwed pregnant woman, she would not have been able to go on.
But instead, she kept her focus on what she knew- which were the promises of God through scripture.
And she knew that by focusing on those promises found in scripture, she would be strong through out her pregnancy. It wouldnt matter if the town folk would talk badly about her. It wouldnt matter that she was poor and unsure of her future. What mattered to her was that God would make a way for her and her family and for the promise of God to come to fruition for the WORLD, THROUGH her!
How many times do we focus on our circumstances instead of on the JOY that God gives us? How many times do we forget that the SOURCE Of our strength COMES from the Lord?
Now, Im not saying we should ignore our problems and bury our heads in the sand- no, of course, not! Im not talking about being an irresponsible person.
Im talking about keeping our gaze on Jesus because He WILL make away where there is NO way! He IS the Source of our strength.
If there is anything I want you to remember about todays message it is this- that the Joy of the Lord is our strength!! And that when we keep our focus on Jesus our problems do not overwhelm us. (Nehemiah 8:10)