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Wednesday Words
We Find Joy in Connections
December 6, 2023
Pastor Cathy Daharsh

“In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” – Luke 1:39

Last Thursday our family received exciting news: our nephew and niece, Matt and Jesse, had a baby girl, McKenna Jill—what joy!  We even got a chance to talk with the new parents and see the baby through FaceTime, as my husband Tom’s sister (the grandma) connected their growing family on the big screen TV in the living room.  You've got to love technology!  I don’t know about you, but moments of joy like this sustain me, giving me the footing, comfort, and hope to carry on.

I've been reflecting on the following passage from our Sanctified Art Series, “How does a weary world rejoice?”:

“In community, our joy expands. When we can’t rejoice, we can carry each other’s joy. That is what Elizabeth and Mary do for each other. The good news begins to take shape in Elizabeth’s womb, but scripture tells us that she stays secluded, hiding her pregnancy from others—that is, until Mary arrives at her door, also pregnant. Perhaps Mary’s arrival is the inbreaking that changes everything for Elizabeth, for in that moment, her child leaps in her womb and she is filled with the Spirit. She can’t help but to rejoice. Her joy is contagious and wraps around Mary like a hug. Through the prophet Isaiah, we hear God speak tender words of comfort; this is the comfort we can give to and receive from each other during this season.”

Life is not always joyful.  I know that many of you carry many things that you hold alone, which causes much weariness.  When bad things happen, it sometimes seems as though it might be easier to just keep to ourselves and endure on our own; but, speaking from experience, being connected is even more important in those times.  We experience joy through connections.

In life we will constantly be pulled between love and loss, grief and gratitude, pain and purpose.  But how brave it is, to allow ourselves space for the tension; to know that seemingly opposite things can all be true at once.  Joy is experienced through deep connections to us, our loved ones, and to God.  Mary’s visit to Elizabeth takes Elizabeth out of her seclusion, allows her to experience joy and hope.  They experienced joy together, even if they each couldn’t feel joy for themselves.  They were both holding joy for the other, to give them the footing to carry on.  From that connection, joy grows.  Amen.