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Dancing with Joy

“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for God has looked with favor on the lowly state of his servant. Surely from now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is God’s name.’” [Luke 1:46-49; NRSV]


I can almost see Mary exclaiming these words in praise as she dances. Joy is hard to contain for it is an embodied emotion. Recall your last experience of joy. How was joy embodied? I know that I jumped up and down and danced around outside in my backyard as words of thanksgiving poured forth from my lips. Soon tears of joy began to well up as more words of gratitude poured forth. I couldn’t contain my joy physically. I also couldn’t keep it to myself. Joy requires sharing! Mary shared her joy with Elizabeth. Who did you share your joy with? As we continue our journey towards the manger, where is joy surfacing in your life?  How are you listening for joy in others?  Remember that joy is an emotion that can transcend our circumstances as people of faith, for Isaiah reminds us that God gives us the oil of gladness and a mantle of praise.



Holy One, help me to experience the depth of joy that Mary proclaimed. You, too, have done great things in my life. Let me give thanks and praise for the simple yet profound gift of your presence in my life. Amen.

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