Scripture: Luke 1:39-45

There is often an unspeakable joy for a family member or friend when one becomes pregnant. For that person that experiences infertility, other’s joys can mean deep sorrow and feelings of loss. We remember the stories of Rachel and Leah, the wives of Jacob, who felt anger and resentment when at times they experienced infertility. But we know that family and children go beyond blood. There is great joy for families who are able to foster and adopt, great joy in our aunts and uncles who adopt us as their children, great joy when God creates a new family in ways beyond our understanding.

In this moment, Mary has come to share in the good news with Elizabeth, who was considered barren but in her older age has finally conceived. Mary has her own joy, silent and secret, that she will give birth to the Son of God. The joy experienced here is both of family coming together and of the wondrous joy that God is doing a new thing through their lives.

As we prepare for this final week before Christmas, slow down from the busy-ness of the world and remember the great joy that God is doing a new thing in your life. Think of who your family is, biological and otherwise. Think of your family of God–the church, your friends, people who have come to be your family through the wonder of God. And remember that the family of God stretches beyond geography and blood, but around the world. As we prepare to celebrate, give thanks for the family of God through Jesus the Christ.

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee, God of Glory, God of love. As we prepare for the wondrous birth of Christ, we prepare for You to do a new thing in our world and in our lives, to enter in a new way. Help us to celebrate, and to remember that we are part of a greater family in You. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

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