When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
My beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved... and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Apparently, Elizabeth, Zechariah's faithful wife and Mary's aged cousin, enjoyed sweet fellowship with good friends. When she became pregnant with John the Baptist, her joy became their joy. God says 'Rejoice with those who rejoice' (Romans 12:15), and so they did.
If the joy of the Lord is our strength, then our strength is increased by shared joy.* When the Holy Spirit moves through a group of people in harmony with God and each other, we feel it. AMTC's SHINE Conference is a real-world example of supernatural joy.
One young performer said on camera, 'SHINE feels like Heaven.' When a family walked back into their NYC apartment after SHINE, the daughter said, 'This doesn't feel like home. I think we just left it.'
The Old Testament is sprinkled with gatherings of great joy: 'The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced... including the foreigners who had come... There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this' (2 Chronicles 30:25-26).
The New Testament is established by gatherings of great joy: 'Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children' (Matthew 14:21). 'So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart' (Acts 2:46).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Stay united, 'Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching' (Hebrews 10:25). The Day? The return of Jesus.
If SHINE is a ray of light in a dark world, continue in its fellowship. If your church is a gathering of faithful hearts in a faithless world, continue in its fellowship. Your brothers and sisters in Christ, the ones who share your passion, path and calling, will help you stay the course in times of confusion.
To Be Continued...
* Nehemiah 8:10: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=nehemiah+8%3A10&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fellowship series.