Advent 14 - Just Relax

DAY 14 - Just Relax
Luke 1:34-38

How do we overcome our fear so we can experience joy?

Look again at Mary’s response to Gabriel. Early Christians revered Mary of Nazareth as Mary, Mother of God. But we also lift her up as the model disciple of her son: “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Something changes in her between v.28 and v.38. Mary says, “I want what God wants!” Please not: God’s plan isn’t forced on her. Mary is not a puppet. She freely cooperates in God’s plan of salvation. Paradoxically, she actively chooses to be passive. Mary yields. She lets God’s gift of joy wash over her. Mary learns to rest in the joy that’s already hers.

Sometimes I’m better at making it harder for others to be joyful. Other times I fight for joy. I fight to feel it for myself and fight to help others feel it. I work so hard to make everyone feel joy, as if it all depends on my ability to host a good dinner, buy the right gift, or create the right experience in worship.

Instead, we can rest. Rest in the joy that’s already yours. Yield to God’s grace freely given. Relax into Jesus. Stop trying so hard to feel joy. It’s not on you to make everyone happy, not even you.

What does that look like to rest in joy that’s already yours? Well, what normally happens when you rest? You relax. You let your guard down. You close your eyes. Busy thoughts settle down. You smile easy, maybe even laugh. Learn to rest in the joy that’s already yours.

What does rest look like for you? Imagine what it would look like for you to rest in joy.

Almighty God, you have made us and all things to serve you, now prepare the world for your rule.
Come quickly to save us, so that wars and violence shall end, and your children may live in peace, honoring one another with justice and love; through Jesus Christ, who lives in power with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.

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