This evening, I’ve been re-reading Luke 1 and it struck me again how baby John the Baptist, not yet born, leapt for joy in Elizabeth’s womb, when she heard Mary’s greeting. Baby John, himself filled with the Holy Spirit, recognizes the Messiah in Mary’s womb and this recognition brings such deep joy it makes him leap.
I think this is such a beautiful, moving and powerful image of what God stirs within us, as He opens us up to His Presence. I’ve been reflecting on this deep joy in returning to the place where God first opened my grieving and numbed heart to His Great Love for me.
As I survey His Majesty before me, I am filled with a deep longing that brings me to tears, but am also covered in a warmth that holds me. I don’t know why, but joy for me is a mix of deep sadness and an overwhelming love that envelops me in the yearning of grief. It’s as if in stopping to rest in His Presence, I am overcome by His Knowing of me. I can feel His eyes resting upon me and feel His arms embracing me. And in those moments, all else fades away.
I pray that you too, will feel this deep, deep joy move your heart this Christmas. That God will open your heart and fill it with a rejoicing only He can bring, no matter how much grief and tearful yearning you are carrying within you.