Celebrating: An Act of Worship

An Advent Devotional from 1992…
“And Mary said, ‘My soul glorifies the Lord 
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.'”
Luke 1: 46-47

I never spoke directly with him and yet he made an impact on my life in a way that I have remembered for years now.  It happened while we were at one of those fast food restaurants where young children love to have their birthday parties.  The party was well under way when out of the corner of my eye I could see that we had a new guest.  Sitting nearby, the man had obviously come to dine alone that night but somehow, in the midst of our celebrations he found himself drawn into what was happening there.  And soon, though he remained at his table physically, he was participating as enthusiastically as any of the kids there that day.  His laughter was so contagious,in fact,  we were quickly caught up with more than just parental supervision.
  
And then, as the party began to wind down and the man started to leave, two of the children took him a balloon.  He responded graciously and walked out the door.  And as we were clearing the last table, I glanced up and saw an old pick-up truck turn the corner from the parking lot with a bright balloon attached to its antenna.  Later on, my husband told me that he had asked the stranger a little bit about himself and had found that the man had recently been widowed and that meal times were especially tough for him.  Yet in spite of that great loss and his advanced years, our guest had a magnetic joy and vibrant participation in life.
And I wonder:  could it have been that same way with Mary?  For surely Mary was often alone and misunderstood at best, if not actually slandered by some.  She experienced physical, mental, and emotional distress in her life.  And yet, her attitude was one of great joy because she had been told the good news of a savior.  There is great reason to be joyful.  For we have a Savior who not only forgives us but stays with us through every turn of life.  No matter what life may bring us, we too can go through it with a “balloon tied on our antenna.”  Our joy can help point others toward the greatest gift of all–Jesus.
Julie Temple

Celebrating life’s special occasions can become acts of worship when we open our hearts and lives to those on the fringes of the celebration.  The season of Advent is the perfect time to do just that.

Consider who you might add to your invitation list… could you bring them into your celebration… welcome them with open hearts…as worship to Him...?
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