In the Movies: Joy

light-in-dark

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.

– Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

 

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Joseph

joseph-maryWe don’t know much about Joseph, but I think it’s safe to say he would have been terrible on a T.V. reality show.  Think about it.  His girlfriend was pregnant, and knowing the child was not his own, he could have slandered her name via social media (literally social), drunk too much wine, and wrecked a perfectly good donkey cart.  Instead, he planned to quietly distance himself from her in a way that would maintain the dignity of everyone involved.  No T.V. ratings there.

Once Joseph understood what was going on, he trusted both God and Mary, and did exactly what the angel told him to do.  Over time, he proved he was the perfect father for Jesus, traveling long distances and making wise, careful decisions to keep his child safe.  Going out of one’s way for the sake of another?  Thoughtful decision making?  Again, no ratings.

I am thankful for the example we have in Joseph, and I am thankful for his role in the Christmas story and beyond.  I’m going to make it a point to follow his example more often and to make it known when others do the same.  I hope you’ll join me.

I hope you are finding great happiness in this week of joy.  If so, please share!

Joy

hope-peace-joy“I’ve got joy like a fountain in my heart.”  You may recognize that as a line from an old Sunday School tune.  I remember singing it boldly along with the other verses which included “peace like a river” and “love like an ocean.”  All are good descriptors, but “joy like a fountain” is my favorite.  When joy happens, it bubbles up and out like water from a wellspring.

I recently had a conversation with a grieving friend.  Though she often feels sad, she is looking forward to what she calls her “new reality.”  Planning for a new residence, starting a small business, and being with family are all sources of joy.  Sometimes she feels guilty for being happy.  Other times she worries that people will judge her for being happy at a time when she should, in their view, be sorrowful.  Fortunately, joy bubbles up pushing all that aside, making room for brighter tomorrows.  I am lucky to be standing in the spray.

In the Movies: Peace

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Once I realized the problem was not you but within me, I found inner peace and was able to harness the flow of the universe.

from Kung Fu Panda 2

I have never watched this movie, but I love how this quote shows the value of peace across cultures.  Do you have a favorite movie line or song lyric about peace?  If so, please share!

Mary

mary-nativThough she was afraid and a little doubtful at first, Mary quickly embraced her role in what we now call the Christmas story.  Once it was all explained, her simple reply was, “I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said.”  (Luke 1:38)

The author of Luke goes on to tell us that Mary sang praises to God, recognizing that He blesses those who are humble, those who have little, and those who serve Him.  Perhaps this example is just one more gift delivered to us through Mary.

Generations have called her blessed, and in turn, we have been blessed for generations.  Glory!