“Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed (to Mary): ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child (Jesus) 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 (John the Baptist) in my womb leaped for joy!’” Luke 1:41-44


Lord Jesus, this is one of the great joy-stories of all time. Both of you were still in your mother’s wombs, but John the Baptist leapt for joy just because he was in close proximity to you. Wow. Wow. Wow! However, this is totally consistent with who you’ve been throughout eternity, Jesus. In your presence is the fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11). Even as you faced your work for us on the cross, you did so with a vision of the joy set before you (Heb. 12:2).

How humbling to realize you are praying we will have the full measure of your joy inside us (John 17:13). Though the completion of that prayer will require your second coming, even now, your Spirit is growing a core of joy inside us (Gal. 5:22).

Your joy doesn’t eliminate sorrow, distress, and grief before your return; but it does transform them. Our tears become the corrective-lenses through which we see other people’s pain with eyes of empathy and compassion. We move from self-pity to neighbor-love—from “Why me?” to “How can I care for you?”

Jesus, one Day you will wipe our tears out of our eyes, and heal the stories and pain behind those tears. This gives us deep joy. It also frees us from pressure to feel happy all the time, and enables us to grieve with hope and grow in kindness. Thank you. So Very Amen, indeed.