This is the second week of our celebration of the advent of Christ. Each week, four leading up to Christmas, we take the time to focus on the reason for all the merriment. While we mark the weeks for the coming of Christmas, we also recall the coming of our savior. This week we consider JOY.
There it was again…that “joyful noise”. It started early each day and often could be heard randomly throughout the day, EVEN when we were in public…yep, I am referring to my mom’s singing. You see, we had the chance to host our mom and mother in law at our home last month. It was wonderful! Since we live far away, we considered it a real blessing to have such concentrated time with them. During their visit I was reminded of my mom’s tendency to hum and sing. Mom would great each day by entering the living room singing “this is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made!….”
Now, I have no room to judge, since CLEARLY I have inherited her singing ability, but mom’s singing definitely falls into the “joyful noise” category. I remember being woke many mornings during my teenage years by her singing, “rise and shine and give God the glory, glory…”, as she’d uncover my feet and tell me to get up. It was like having an out of tune alarm clock without the snooze button. It was also not uncommon for her to sing a short bit of whatever song, usually a hymn, runs through her head. If you are in the car, or at a mall with her, at some point you will hear humming that could eventually spill over into a few lyrics too.
I know it sounds like I am complaining, but I am not. Oh, sure I may roll my eyes and groan when she does it sometimes, and yes I have been known to walk a bit further behind her when she is singing/humming in a store, but this is something I dearly LOVE about my mom. You see, when I say she is an example of a “Joyful Noise” I place the emphasis on “Joyful”. I know she sings because she has true joy in her heart.
Mom lives in constant discomfort physically. She stubbornly deals with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as a host of other of life’s complexities that come with age. She puts on a smile and determinedly charges through her days, but I know she endures the frustration of that not always being possible. Her life, like all of our lives, has been full of wonderful blessings as well as great difficulty…but always, always, there is a joy in her heart. You might say she chooses to be positive and upbeat, she chooses to be joyful….I’m not sure that is the case.
I think she can’t help but to be joyful. My mom remembers year-round, something others tend to forget until Christmas. Jesus was born. It’s that simple. He was born, and in His birth He brought our salvation. God sent His son, as a baby, to a broken world. In Him we find redemption we do not deserve. Through Him we experience grace, the unearned favor of a Holy God. There should be a gigantic collective, “WHEW”, sighed out by the world.
We will face challenges in this life. Our flesh is temporary and fails us way too often. We may make mistakes, even big ones. But, because of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ, we have forgiveness of our sins and a God Who desires to be in a relationship with us every day. That is truly Joyful news.
“and the angel said them, “Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news of great JOY which shall be for ALL people, for today in the city of David there has been born for YOU a savior, Who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10,11
May this year find each of us mindful of the Joy He puts in our hearts, no matter our circumstances, and yes….may we even be overcome with the need to make a “Joyful Noise”!