Elizabeth, (pregnant with John the Baptist), said to Mary, (pregnant with Jesus), “as soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” Luke 1:41-45

Lord Jesus, this story is too odd not to be true; so glorious, we want to make it ours. Just being near you, John the Baptist leapt for joy in Elizabeth’s womb. From all eternity, the fullness of joy can be found in your presence (Ps 16:11)—a fulness you continue to pray we will experience as our own (John 17:13).

We don’t need a different story, less suffering, or more guarantees to have your joy in the core of our hearts. COVID doesn’t have to be gone; spouses and kids don’t have “rise up and call us awesome”; our government doesn’t have to be stable.

The joy you give transcends (and transforms) tears, circumstances, and heartaches. Though not to be confused with mere happiness, your joy-bringing-presence puts a smile in our hearts, when we can’t muster one on our face.

Make this increasingly real to us, in the rest of December 2020. It’s not just a “weary world,” it’s a weary us—a weary me, that would love to rejoice afresh. So very Amen we pray, in your near and joy-full name.